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Peapod, N.J. Classrooms Fight Hunger


Through Peapod’s "Kids Give Back" program, the online grocer and 4th- and 5th-grade classrooms throughout New Jersey have donated more than $2,500 in food deliveries to local food banks and pantries.

As part of the program, which ran during the 2013-14 school year, Peapod shared a lesson plan outlining the healthful foods available through its website and how those items could be donated to community anti-hunger organizations. Children also gained math and budgeting skills as they tried to order as many items as possible for their local food banks. When students had placed their orders, Peapod fulfilled the requests and delivered the food.

"Our Kids Give Back initiative has given us a great opportunity to educate our local communities about the wonderful nutritional shopping tools available on while at the same time giving students an opportunity to learn about smart food choices and the value of community service," said Peapod Director of Marketing Peg Merzbacher.

Peapod identified the New Jersey classroom participants through an online grant application form, and students and teachers chose the food pantry in their community they wished to support.

Participants took the opportunity to customize the experience. "After we completed our Peapod presentation and lessons, we implemented an additional task for the students to use a $10 budget to plan, fundraise and shop for a wholesome meal for family of four," said Joan Cirella, of Ironia Elementary School, in Randolph, N.J. "Using their knowledge, students met the challenge. Overall, it was a great way to put our service lessons into action."

Since Peapod started Kids Give Back in 2010, it has teamed with more than 30 schools to donate to food banks in the e-grocer's market areas.

Skokie, Ill.-based Peapod, an Ahold USA company, serves 24 U.S. markets throughout Connecticut; Illinois; Indiana; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Wisconsin. To date, it has delivered more than 26 million grocery orders.

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