Food Lion Unveils ‘Bold’ Reinvention of Hunger Relief Initiative
Food Lion has taken the wraps off what the banner called “bold new plans” for its hunger-relief initiative, Food Lion Feeds. To fight hunger in its market area, Food Lion Feeds will expand its long-term partnership with Chicago-based Feeding America, develop additional partnerships to address the issue, and pledge to donate 1 billion more meals by the end of 2025.
“At Food Lion, we believe that no one should have to choose between dinner and rent or gasoline and buying groceries, and we know far too many of our neighbors are faced with those difficult decisions,” said Food Lion President Meg Ham. “Children in our classrooms, service members who give so much to serve our nation, and seniors on fixed incomes in our towns and cities are struggling with hunger. Hunger knows no bounds. So Food Lion is committed to nourishing our neighbors and setting them up for success in life, and we couldn’t be more proud to take on this incredibly important mission in an even bigger, more impactful way.”
To reach this goal, Food Lion Feeds has established partnerships with Washington, D.C.-based No Kid Hungry, a campaign to end child hunger in the United States, and San Antonio-based Operation Homefront, which fights food insecurity among U.S. service members and their families. Further, the initiative will continue to grow its longtime collaboration with Feeding America, and the 30 Feeding America member food banks across Food Lion’s 10-state footprint, through a combination of product, financial and equipment donations; disaster relief and recovery efforts; volunteer events; in-store retail campaigns; Food Lion Feeds’ retail food rescue program to donate food before it perishes; and other sources. Food Lion Feeds is additionally offering new opportunities to enlist its customers in the cause, through the launch of a new resource to encourage volunteerism in Food Lion’s surrounding communities.
Food Lion Feeds’ donation to No Kid Hungry will provide up to 5 million meals to needy children, and the initiative’s partnership with Operation Homefront will allow that organization to broaden its reach and provide critical resources for service members and their families.
What’s more, in tandem with Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month in September, Food Lion Feeds will roll out the “#NoEmptyPlate” social media challenge, in which it will donate one meal for every post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram customers make featuring an empty plate and using the hashtags #FoodLionFeeds and #NoEmptyPlate, up to 1 million meals. All meals donated via the #NoEmptyPlate challenge will benefit Feeding America and its member food banks in Food Lion’s service area.
Food Lion customers will also be able to more easily connect with hunger-relief organizations in their hometowns via Food Lion Feeds’ new relationship with FoodFinder, a resource hosted on foodlion.com. By typing in a ZIP code, customers will be able to access to a list of local Feeding America-affiliated feeding agencies, where the shoppers can volunteer.
“These partnerships will enable us to have an even deeper impact in our communities while addressing some of the root causes of food insecurity,” noted Ham. “We want to shorten the lines at our feeding agency partners, while at the same time meeting the needs of those in need of emergency food assistance, just as we have always done. Through these partnerships, and with the support of our customers and associates, we are committed to fighting hunger in the towns and cities we serve.”
Food Lion Feeds achieved its previous goal of donating 500 million meals in May 2019 – almost 18 months early.
Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, the U.S. division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Royal Ahold Delhaize Group, is No. 4 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.