The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company announced today that its 23rd annual Food for Friends program will kick-off on Friday, November 2nd and will run in all 403 stores through November 25th. Customers who donate $1, $3, or $5 at their local Stop & Shop will help support hunger relief organizations within their local communities as well as regionally. Customers who donate $5 to Food for Friends will also receive a $5 coupon booklet from Kraft Foods (while supplies last). The company’s goal is to raise more than $2 million this holiday season.
Based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report “Household Food Security in the United States in 2011,” 17.9 million households were food insecure last year. As economic times remain tough and millions were recently impacted by Hurricane Sandy, regional food banks and pantries are crucial to the communities they serve. In turn, these hunger relief agencies urgently need the assistance of company initiatives such as Stop & Shop’s Food for Friends program.
“This year’s program is returning at a critical time: with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the Thanksgiving holiday coming quickly, thousands of more families will be struggling this season,” said Joe Kelley, president, Stop & Shop New England Division. “Stop & Shop is pleased to share that in addition to the funds raised, we are again committing over $200,000 toward Food for Friends.”
In its 23rd year, Stop & Shop’s Food for Friends program will deliver 100 percent of the dollars raised – 60 percent will be allocated directly to local food pantries; 40 percent will be donated regional food banks. Last year, Stop & Shop’s Food for Friends program raised nearly $2 million to feed families in need.
Stop & Shop is supplementing the Food for Friends program by offering an opportunity where customers can purchase a pre-packaged Hunger Relief Box of Stop & Shop Brand items valued at $10 and a portion of the proceeds benefits several food banks in the Northeast area from November 2nd through the end of December (while supplies last). The Hunger Relief Boxes will be donated directly to each store’s local designated food pantry.
“Hundreds of thousands of our customers in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have been severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said Don Sussman, president, Stop & Shop New York Metro Division. “Never before has our Food for Friends program been in a position to assist so many, who in past years were actually contributors to our efforts. This year Stop & Shop will help our food bank partners who are dedicated to providing for those who are food challenged. Food for Friends is an easy way for our customers and associates to give back and they can feel good knowing the funds raised will help their local community.”
In addition to in-store donations, over the next several weeks Stop & Shop will deliver more than 21,000 turkeys to local hunger relief organizations across the Northeast through its Turkey Express program. Organizations that will receive the turkeys include: The Greater Boston Food Bank, YMCA of Greater Boston (Dorchester and East Boston Branches), Worcester County Food Bank, The Food Bank of Western Mass., Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club, New Hampshire Food Bank, Foodshare, Connecticut Food Bank, Food Bank of New York City, FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties, Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Long Island Cares, Island Harvest, Food Bank for Westchester County and Food Bank of Hudson Valley.