Southeastern Grocers Launches Hunger Relief Bags
Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEG) is the latest food retailer finding innovative ways to help people facing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now through May 15, customers at the company's Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket, and Winn-Dixie stores can purchase a $5 hunger relief donation bag of nonperishable food items at the register.
The bags include shelf-stable items such as spaghetti, canned green beans, canned corn, and boxes of macaroni and cheese, all fulfilled directly from the SEG warehouse and delivered to local food banks to create a contactless donation for customers and associates.
To kick off the program, Pepsi pledged to donate $25,000 to the campaign to donate a total of 5,000 hunger relief bags to Feeding America member food banks.
"We are committed to fighting hunger and providing food to the communities we serve. At Southeastern Grocers, we believe this responsibility expands outside our doors and into the homes of our neighbors in need," said Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of SEG. "This is why we have created a simple way we can all help replenish food pantry shelves and provide nourishment to those in need. As a community, we are stronger together and will overcome these difficult times by showing kindness to our neighbors."
The new initiative is a partnership between SEG, the SEG Gives Foundation and Feeding America. According to Feeding America, it has seen a significant increase in need, with nearly 60% of its network of food banks facing reduced inventory levels amid rising demand.
"Our charitable food system in the United States is continually facing surges in demand, declines in food donations and volunteers, and disruptions to normal operating procedures, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis," said Lauren Biedron, VP of corporate partnerships at Feeding America. "Never has our network of food banks faced such a tremendous challenge, and we need all the resources we can get to help our neighbors during this unparalleled time.”
In March, the SEG Gives Foundation donated $250,000 to Feeding America to help its network of food banks. Also during the pandemic, SEG footed the shopping bills for a number of emergency workers as a way of saying "thank you."
Customers who wish to donate a $5 hunger relief bag can do so by visiting any local Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket, or Winn-Dixie grocery store.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers operates more than 550 stores under various banners and employs about 45,000 workers. The company is No. 13 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.