The new mobile pantry partially funded by The Giant Co. will serve Pennsylvanians in the central part of the state.
In honor of its ongoing 100th anniversary celebration, The Giant Co. is partnering with health organization Geisinger and Central Susquehanna Opportunities (CSO) community action organization to pilot a mobile food pantry in Pennsylvania’s Central Susquehanna Valley. The grocer has committed $597,000 to fund the mobile pantry, including a $325,000 donation to cover startup costs for the initiative.
The mobile food pantry is slated to launch in early 2024 and will aim to provide fresh, healthy food to 75 households in its inaugural year. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services found that more than one million residents of the state were food insecure in 2022.
“We’re grateful to The Giant Co. and CSO for their collaboration in bringing healthy food to underserved communities,” said Nancy Lawton-Kluck, Geisinger’s chief philanthropy officer. “It’s a privilege to work with community leaders who share our values as we contribute to healthier, more vibrant neighborhoods.”
The mobile food pantry will be an extension of Geisinger’s food-is-health strategy, which the company says is designed to help people with challenges accessing healthy food live well and manage diet-responsive conditions. The unit will launch in targeted underserved areas.
“Reducing food insecurity, increasing access to healthy foods and promoting nutrition is a priority for The Giant Co.,” said Nick Koch, head of wellbeing for the food retailer. “When Geisinger approached us with their idea for a mobile food pantry to help address these issues in their community, we knew we wanted to be a part of it. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this life-changing program will have on families across the central Susquehanna Valley.”
In total, Giant Co. has given more than $8.5 million to Geisinger programs, facilities and initiatives, including previous commitments to the Fresh Food Farmacy program, Children’s Miracle Network and Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.
With more than 35,000 associates supporting more than 190 stores, 130-plus pharmacies, 107 fuel stations, and 180-plus online pickup hubs and a grocery delivery service in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and New Jersey, Carlisle, Pa.-based The Giant Co. encompasses the following banners: Giant, Martin’s, Giant Heirloom Market, Giant Direct and Martin’s Direct. 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.