December, 2018 – Giant Food Stores (Giant/Martin’s) earned a meaty honor yesterday from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Giant received the 2018 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award in recognition of its innovative “Meat the Needs” program and commitment to sustainable retailing.
“As a food retailer we are committed to reducing waste and minimizing our environmental impact, while at the same time maximizing food donations to our regional food banks,” said Giant/Martin’s President Nicholas Bertram. “Our ‘Meat the Needs’ program has been a game changer for our company and our food bank partners, diverting food from landfills and onto the plates of those in need. We are honored to have these ongoing efforts recognized by the EPA.”
After learning that meat was most needed by hungry families and often in short supply, Giant introduced “Meat the Needs” in 2008. Through the program, stores safely freeze and donate meat that is pulled from sale a day before its sell-by date. This product is safe, consumable food that Giant would be just as proud to sell to customers, but rather than ending up in landfills, it is helping regional food banks feed those most in need.
All 172 Giant and Martin’s Food Markets stores participate in the “Meat the Needs” program, with the donations delivered to food bank partners by the brand’s trucks. In 2017, Giant stores donated more than 3.9 million pounds of meat and food. With a goal to reduce food waste by 50% by 2025, Giant/Martin’s aims to expand the program so all fresh departments can participate.