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Hy-Vee Donates $100K to Meals from the Heartland

Hy-Vee Inc. gave $100,000 to Meals from the Heartland — its largest donation ever to the nonprofit — after getting at least 100,000 people to build awareness about the benefits of families eating one more meal together each week.

In recognition of National Family Meals Month, Hy-Vee announced a major charity donation challenge in September to get families back around the dinner table. For every family who posted a photo of themselves eating a meal together on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or for every person who shared the message on their social media sites and used the hashtag #HyVeeFamilyMeals, Hy-Vee pledged to donate $1 to Meals from the Heartland, up to $100,000.

“We are thrilled with the hundreds of thousands of people who engaged in our social media campaign during National Family Meals Month,” said Brad Waller, Hy-Vee’s assistant VP of community relations. “With this donation, Meals from the Heartland will be able to provide more than 500,000 meals to those families who are hungry and in need of food.”

Retailer Steps Up

Meals from the Heartland is made up of volunteers from businesses, schools, churches and community organizations who package meals for delivery to malnourished people in the Midwest, across the United States and around the world.

“We are very fortunate to work with Hy-Vee, a company that truly understands community giving and continually steps up to help those in need,” said Susan Bunz, executive director of Meals from the Heartland. “Countless people will be fed thanks to the efforts of Hy-Vee and those who helped spread the National Family Meals Month message on social media.”

Created by the Food Marketing Institute, National Family Meals Month is an industry-inspired movement to raise consumer awareness of the health and societal benefits of sharing frequent family meals. Research shows that children who share regular family meals benefit from better grades, improved nutrition, stronger family relationships and higher self-esteem, and they are less likely to use drugs and alcohol.

Hy-Vee Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker serves as the 2016 chair of the National Family Meals Month campaign.

To help encourage families to gather around the table for dinner, Hy-Vee also provided every child a free kids’ meal (with the purchase of an adult entrée) at more than 90 Hy-Vee Market Grille restaurants across the company’s eight-state region during National Family Meals Month. In addition, Hy-Vee dietitians provided 15-minute recipe ideas to customers and signage was displayed in stores to promote the benefits of eating meals together.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee Inc. operates more than 240 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $9.3 billion annually. 

IN THE PHOTO: Meals from the Heartland staff accepts Hy-Vee’s $100,000 check from Brad Waller, assistant VP of community relations at Hy-Vee. From left: Jordie Sorensen, marketing coordinator; Jill Richey, administrative assistant; Mike Frandsen, Hunger Fight assistant; Joel O'Dell, Hunger Fight manager; Shellie Billings, office manager; Sandy Niland, volunteer coordinator; Susan Bunz, executive director; Brad Miller, warehouse manager; and Waller.


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