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Food Lion Feeds Aiding Food-Insecure Students at CIAA Schools

Collab aims to boost food access for vulnerable demographic
Food Lion CIAA Food Insecurity Main Image
Food Lion Feeds is helping provide nonperishable food to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities that are part of the CIAA, including Winston-Salem State University.

As it continues to alleviate food insecurity in its 10-state footprint, including among college students, Food Lion Feeds, the philanthropic arm of Food Lion, is helping provide nonperishable food to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities that are part of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), based in Charlotte, N.C. The undertaking aims to ensure that college food pantries are stocked with shelf-stable food, boosting food-insecure students’ access to nutritional food. This initiative aligns with the 2024 Food Lion CIAA Basketball Tournament, taking place Feb. 26-March 2 in Baltimore. Food Lion is marking 30 years of partnership with the CIAA, the nation’s oldest historically Black athletic conference. 

“At Food Lion, we believe no one should have to choose between dinner and rent or gas and groceries,” noted Kevin Durkee, manager of Food Lion Feeds at Food Lion. “That’s why we’re passionate about helping end hunger in our communities. We are humbled to support our CIAA schools by helping provide products for their student food pantries, increasing access to nutritious food and setting students up for success.” 

[RELATED: Food Lion Expands Current Partnership With CIAA]

As well as providing such shelf-stable products as breakfast bars, cereals, oatmeal, peanut butter, jelly, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, and water, Food Lion associates volunteered to stock the pantry shelves.

Since its partnership with CIAA began three decades ago, Food Lion has donated more than $7.5 million in scholarships to the organization’s schools. Meanwhile, Food Lion Feeds has provided funding for campus food pantries with grants totaling $200,000-plus, helping stock food pantries and nutrition lounges at the schools and in the surrounding communities.  

The initiative comes in the wake of a report published in November 2023 by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corp., which found that college students experience food insecurity at higher rates than the general population, with estimates of 33%-51% food-insecure students, versus nearly 10% among U.S. adults.

Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion operates more than 1,100 stores with 82,000-plus associates. Its parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century and its 10 Most Sustainable Grocers. In addition, the Food Lion banner is an honoree of several 2023 Impact Awards, a PG awards program that honors outstanding ESG efforts.

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