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Harris Teeter, Suppliers Feed Hungry Consumers

Food banks receive more help from food retailers
Grocers are donating produce and meat to food banks during the pandemic

Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. is donating 640,000 pounds of meat and produce to help feed people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with some of its vendors, the North Carolina-based food retailer said it has distributed more than 534,000 meals to food banks in areas served by Harris Teeter. Those partners include meat operations Sanderson Farms and Tyson, along with produce suppliers Sol Melons, Ayco Farms, NY Apple, Washington Fruit & Produce, Seald Sweet International, Pacific Trellis Fruit and California Giant Berry Farms. Harris Teeter said they have all joined forces to support various food banks in its operating areas to provide hunger relief to families, including children, seniors and veterans, within its communities facing food insecurity.

The food retailer said that it's also committed to supporting its supply chain partners working hard behind the scenes to ensure shelves are well-stocked and families are fed. For every truckload donated by its suppliers, Harris Teeter purchased a truckload for donation and distributed the meals among various local food banks.

"Many restaurants are closed which means suppliers have a surplus of food service items available. Together, we're able to divert this product from our landfills and place it in the homes of hungry families," said Danna Robinson, communication manager for Harris Teeter.

That’s not all the food retailer is doing to help with pandemic relief efforts. On Wednesday, Harris Teeter launched its “Round Up” program. Shoppers can round up their transaction to the nearest whole dollar at checkout to support this effort. The campaign will benefit Harris Teeter's local food bank partners in their efforts to meet emergency supply demands.

Harris Teeter stands as just one of the nation’s food retailers helping to feed people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic or who otherwise cannot afford all the groceries they need during this time.

Another recent example comes from Food Lion. That chain has begun working with school districts to deliver meals to children and their families. The food retailer is donating reusable bags for the distribution and $20 gift cards to supplement the meals. Food Lion has donated $500,000 to school systems with the highest percentage of student eligibility for the National School Lunch Program in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. And in March, Food Lion pledged a separate $3.1 million to fight hunger with 15 million meals through its Feeding America-affiliated food bank partners. 

Earlier in April, Albertsons Cos. announced an additional $50 million donation to hunger relief efforts. That money will go to “the 2,200+ neighborhoods it serves in 34 states and the District of Columbia through its Nourishing Neighbors Community Relief campaign,” Alberstons said. The food retailer had previously pledged $3 million to pandemic relief efforts, and said that is customers have donated at least $13 million toward that previous effort.

Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter is owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger, which operates about 2,800 stores under several regional banners across the country and is ranked No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 listing of top grocers.

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