JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(Business Wire)– Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:WINN) announced the complete roll out of its Food Recovery Program, which provides perishable items to local Feeding America affiliate food banks in the company’s five-state operating area. Approximately 3.5 million pounds of usable food was donated to feed the hungry in the program’s pilot phase during the past 15 months.
“As a grocer, we are concerned about the number of Americans seeking food assistance in today’s economy, and we are very pleased to be a part of the solution,” said Mary Kellmanson, group vice president of marketing for Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. “Our partnership with Feeding America and its network of food banks is making a meaningful impact in the fight against hunger.”
Winn-Dixie first piloted the program in ten stores beginning in January 2009, and has quietly expanded it throughout its operating area. It will be rolled out to all of its 515 stores by the end of April. Average donations of usable food in similar programs across the country range between 250 and 300 pounds each week per store, including foods like bread, meats, cheeses, bagged fruits and vegetables, gelatin desserts, and sandwiches. Winn-Dixie officials estimate the program will result in 6 million to 8 million pounds of usable food making its way to food banks each year once the program is operating in all of the company’s stores.
“This program will help us provide millions of meals to Americans who are living on the brink of hunger,” said Vicki Escarra, president and chief executive officer of Feeding America. “One of our important objectives at Feeding America is finding new sources of fresh and nutritious food to provide to the 5.7 million people who rely on us for food each week of the year. We are extremely grateful to Winn-Dixie for providing this invaluable community service – hunger is a real and persistent problem facing many of our nation’s communities today.”