Fighting food insecurity for 35 years in its local community, Raley’s Food For Families’ recent Annual Holiday Drive raised more than $3 million — the largest amount ever donated for the event.
This 43% increase in total year-over-year donations, which came from customers in-store and online between Nov. 2 and Dec. 31, will provide more than 3 million meals for those experiencing food insecurity in Northern California and Nevada.
“The generosity we have seen this past year within the communities we serve is incredible,” said Becca Whitman, executive director of Raley’s Food For Families. “It is no secret that 2020 was an especially difficult year, so we cannot thank our customers enough for their outpouring of support to help their neighbors in need during even the toughest of times. They are the ones who truly deserve the recognition.”
Raley’s Food For Families works every day to alleviate hunger locally by partnering with 12 regional food banks. This year’s Annual Holiday Drive was especially important because these partners, which typically serve 1.4 million food- insecure individuals each month, saw an increase of an average of 95% in those using their services in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Raley’s will continue to work closely with many of its nonprofit partners in 2021, providing funding as they make adjustments to best serve their communities.
“In 2021, our impact focus areas will be food access, child safety and mental health as it relates to school closures for our youth,” said Whitman. “To keep our fundraising initiatives going into 2021, we plan to orchestrate our Food For Families annual golf tournament with our incredible vendor partners, our annual dinner and our Summer Fresh Drive, a campaign that brings awareness to the growing meal gap and nutrition needs of those who are food insecure.”
Although this year’s Annual Holiday Drive has ended, Raley’s accepts donations year-round at checkstand PIN pads at all store locations and online to support Food For Families. Donations stay local to aid the communities in which they were made, and Raley’s covers all administrative costs for Food For Families, ensuring that 100% of donations benefit food bank partners and those in need.
“Thanks to our customers’ online donations and generosity in our stores, and our team members’ giving, the number of meals provided to our 12 food bank partners increases each year," said Whitman.
Raley’s Food For Families began as a holiday food drive in 1986 and was founded by Co-Chairman and owner Joyce Raley Teel and CEO emeritus Charles Collings. In the past 35 years, the registered 501(c)3 organization has raised more than $42 million and 40 million pounds of fresh, wholesome food.
Privately owned and family-operated Raley’s operates 127 stores under six banners: Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods, Food Source, Raley's O-N-E Market and Market 5-ONE-5. The West Sacramento, California-based company is No. 59 on PG's 2020 PG 100 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.