Meijer will double match every customer's $10 Simply Give donation made Nov. 15-16 to celebrate five years of feeding hungry families through its program that aims to restock the shelves of food pantries in the communities it serves.
"This holiday season marks a milestone for the Simply Give program," Co-Chairman Doug Meijer said. "We've been feeding hungry families in the communities we serve for five years, thanks to the continued support and generosity of our customers, team members and pantry partners. We are pleased this program has helped fill a void by providing 39 million meals to our hungry neighbors."
The supercenter retailer began its Simply Give program in November 2008 as a way to help local food pantries throughout the Midwest achieve their missions of feeding hungry families.
Since then, Meijer's program has generated more than $6.5 million, which equals 39 million meals for those partners to distribute to hungry families. And, more importantly, those meals stay local, said Janet Emerson, Meijer executive vice president of retail operations.
"We know how important it is to our customers that their generous donations remain in their local communities," Emerson said. "That's why each of our stores partner with a local food pantry during theSimply Give campaign."
According to Feeding America, one in six Americans – or more than 50 million people – are considered food insecure, which means they don't know where their next meal will come from. Here's the food insecurity breakdown within the Meijer five-state footprint:
• Michigan: More than 1.7 million people
• Indiana: More than 1 million people
• Illinois: More than 1.9 million people
• Ohio: More than 2 million people
• Kentucky: More than 749,000 people
"Hunger is a problem that continues to increase in all of our communities," Doug Meijer said. "The Simply Give program gives everyone a chance to work toward ensuring no one has to go to bed hungry."
During each Simply Give campaign, customers are encouraged to purchase $10 Meijer Food Pantry Donation Cards that are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to the food pantry selected by the store. The Simply Give program runs three times per year; the holiday campaign will run through Jan. 4.
Simply Give Double Match Days held Nov. 15-16 will stretch those donations even further: For every $10 donation card purchase, Meijer will give $20 to the program, resulting in a total $30 donation.
Customers can find the donation cards on fixtures near the checkout; they will also be near the Meijer Taste of the Holidays in-store sampling stations Nov. 16. The sampling events, which are held at each Meijer store, will feature a variety of Thanksgiving menu items, including Purple Cow pumpkin pie ice cream, harvest artichoke dip and sweet pepper crostini bread.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer Inc. donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives.