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Haggen Helps Battle Hunger with 'Beef Counts'

For the fourth consecutive year, Haggen is teaming up with Food Lifeline and AgriBeef Co. to provide nourishing meals to community members in need via the Washington Beef Commission’s "Beef Counts" campaign.

Throughout the month of March, the Bellingham, Wash.-based Haggen is giving customers three ways to help raise funds for Beef Counts:

  • Buy Double R Ranch Beef at Haggen in March. For every pound of beef sold at Haggen this month, Washington’s beef community will make a donation – up to $10,000 – to Food Lifeline. Haggen and Double R Ranch will match this donation with a goal of raising $20,000 to provide 40,000 servings of protein-packed beef to neighbors in need.
  • Donate at the cash register. Customers can add a cash donation to their grocery bill during their regular shopping trip. There’s no limit to how much can be donated through this method, and every penny will go directly to Food Lifeline.
  • Share photos tagged with #WABeefCounts. When people share an image of their Double R Ranch beef meal with the hashtag #WABeefCounts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, local farmers and ranchers will donate an additional $5 to Beef Counts, up to $2000.

“As a grocer, the issue of hunger is very close to our hearts here at Haggen,” said John Clougher, CEO Haggen Pacific Northwest. “We’re lucky to have access to some of the best beef in the world right here in Washington, and we’re resolved to help Food Lifeline achieve its goal of receiving high-quality protein for our neighbors in need.”

Washington State ranks 22nd in the nation in overall food insecurity, with one out of every six Washington households food insecure at some point during the year. Half of all food bank recipients are seniors and children in critical need of the protein and minerals found in beef to sustain a healthy, well-balanced diet. The USDA recommends that most people eat 5 to 6 ounces of high-quality protein per day, but less than 11 percent of food bank donations are protein-based.

“We felt very strongly that mobilizing Washington’s beef community behind this mission would make a real impact on the severe lack of high-quality protein available to families in need,” noted Jay Theiler, executive director of marketing for AgriBeef, Co. “We are fortunate to have had a fantastic partner in Haggen all these years, a company committed to local sourcing and making a positive impact in the community they call home.”

The beef will be provided to Food Lifeline by Double R Ranch and AgriBeef, Co. Food Lifeline will then distribute this beef to its network of 276 local food banks, meal programs and shelters. Each family receiving the beef will also receive a brochure that details proper cooking methods, healthy recipes, nutrition facts, and safe beef handling and storage information.

“Thanks to the generosity of Haggen, its customers, and Washington ranchers and farmers, thousands of hungry people will get the high-quality protein they need via Food Lifeline’s 275-agency network of food banks, meal programs and shelters,” said Linda Nageotte, president and CEO of Food Lifeline. “Beef Counts is a critical program that helps us meet the growing needs of children, families, seniors and many others who face hunger every day in our community.”

Haggen currently operates stores in Washington and Oregon, and is in the process of acquiring an additional 146 stores. With this acquisition, Haggen will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies; from 2,000 employees to more than 10,000 employees; and from a small Pacific Northwest company to a major regional grocery chain with locations in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.

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