Last Refreshed: 3/4/2024 7:34:08 PM
Brand Story

Beyond groceries: Helping communities gain access to food and better well-being

January 16, 2023 – Within the U.S. more than 44 million people face hunger including one in five children*. To help address this issue, several of our great local U.S. brands do much more than sell groceries – they address food insecurity in the communities they serve by donating food, providing grants that address food insecurity and aim to ensure food is saved before going to waste. See below for how our U.S. brands are committing to making food accessible for all – for the past decades and today. 

Last Refreshed: 3/4/2024 7:34:08 PM

Food Lion: 1 billion meals and counting  

Since its inception in 2014, Food Lion Feeds has achieved a remarkable feat – it has donated over 1 billion meals to individuals and families and has committed to donating 1.5 billion meals by 2025. 

One of Food Lion Feed's major initiatives is the Great Pantry Makeover, an annual event that takes place during Feeding America's Hunger Action Month. Food Lion associates roll up their sleeves to help remodel and restock nearly 30 food pantries (distribution centers where people can receive food). During this 30-day effort, 3 million meals and almost 1,100 volunteer hours are provided. This effort builds on yearlong support through volunteer efforts led by Food Lion associates as well as collaborations with partner food banks to create sustainable solutions. For example, Food Lion Feeds supports transformative experiences by investing in culinary training programs, teaching gardens, nutritional education courses and client-choice food pantries.  

However, Food Lion's commitment goes further back. In 2000, Food Lion partnered with Feeding America to create a pioneering food rescue program, rescuing surplus food that would otherwise go to waste. Today, this program continues. Since 2019, Food Lion has donated over 248 million pounds (over 112 million kgs) of food through food rescue and has recycled over 117 million pounds (over 50 million kgs) of food waste.  

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The GIANT Company: Meating community needs

Among several food rescue programs aimed at combating hunger, The GIANT Company's longest-standing initiative is its Meat the Needs program, developed in collaboration with its partner, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. The program began with a pilot in 2009, with the goal of creating an outlet for fresh meat products that were upon their sell by date but still considered consumable to people facing hunger within The GIANT Company's service area.  

Eligible products undergo freezing at the store level, adhering to food safety guidelines. These products are then collected at the brand's perishable distribution center to be distributed to the company’s regional food bank partners, ensuring that the center of the plate proteins reach people in need. 

Since its initial pilot in 2009, the program has grown from a small-scale initiative to a full-scale operation involving six  of the company’s regional food bank partners. Since 2012, it has made substantial contributions, donating more than 20 million pounds (approx. 9.0  million kilograms) of products with a cumulative value exceeding $32 million to  the company’s regional food bank partners.

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Stop & Shop: Bringing food to school pantries

Stop & Shop's School Food Pantry program started in 2019 when the retailer recognized a significant need among students who were beneficiaries of free lunch programs during the school day through government initiatives but were grappling with hunger during evenings and weekends.

The program was launched to help ensure that no student has to go to school hungry. Since its inception, Stop & Shop has grown the program from one pantry in Massachusetts to 200 pantries across five states. Each of these pantries plays a vital role in providing consistent access to healthy food, contributing to the well-being of students. 

In a bid to increase awareness for this program, Stop & Shop has also partnered with the Boston Red Sox baseball team. For every strike out at Fenway Park during the season, Stop & Shop donates 10,000 meals to students in need.  

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Giant Food: Supporting neighbors in needs

Giant Food’s number one charitable pillar has always been fighting food insecurity. Through several programs, Giant supports its five Feeding America Food Bank partners as well as additional community organizations. A primary focus for Giant is supporting Ward 8, Washington D.C. where poverty is increasingly concentrated, and residents face both food insecurity and high rates of obesity.

One of the many programs Giant continues to support is the Capital Area Food Bank’s (CAFB) Mobile Grocery Trucks Curbside Groceries which launched in 2020. With Curbside, CAFB has created a social business solution to food access by launching a mobile grocery truck that sells affordable produce and grocery staples in neighborhoods with limited access to retailers. Since its launch with funds from the Giant Family Foundation, Giant Food helped CAFB secure a second and now third Curbside Groceries truck. The trucks visit 14 distribution sites each week and look to expand to eight more in the coming year.

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Hannaford: Helping communities eat well, be well

With its five-decade history of donating food to local hunger relief organizations, Hannaford now donates 25 million pounds annually, emphasizing fresh produce, dairy, and frozen meat. These efforts help thousands of its neighbors and contribute to Hannaford's commitment to reducing food waste. 

New efforts like the Hannaford Eat Well, Be Well program began last year with $1.5 million in community investments to improve health outcomes for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. In year one, Eat Well, Be Well delivered 200,000 nutritious meals to 1,000 people and connected many to dietician support. This year, the program expanded to shine a light on what can often be a forgotten demographic—older people. In partnership with regional community organizations, Hannaford launched the “Connection, Health, and Equity through Food” (CHEF) program to enhance the wellbeing and quality of life for older individuals. 

Hannaford’s Fuel Kids at School program focuses on food insecurity among students at school. It has added 150 school-based food pantries from pre-school to high schools across the northeast. And, starting in 2020, the program expanded to include community colleges to address emerging needs with young adults.

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*Feeding America: Hunger in America