Food stamp cuts, unemployment cuts and other economic conditions have depleted local food pantry shelves and the Grand Rapids-based Meijer grocery chain is stepping up to help with a match program for its Simply Give hunger relief program Friday and Saturday.
On those days, the retailer will match donations 2-to-1, according to a news release. That means that for every $10 donation card purchase, Meijer will contribute $20, resulting in a total donation of $30.
Meijer, a family owned company since it opened in 1934, established the Simply Give program in 2008 as part of an effort to restock food pantry shelves. Since then, the grocer has given nearly $8 million to local food pantries to distribute to hungry families. Importantly, the donations remain local, said Janet Emerson, executive vice president of retail operations for Meijer.
“We know how important it is to our customers that their generous donations remain in their local communities,” Emerson said. “That’s why each of our stores partner with a local food pantry during the Simply Give campaign.”
With the 2-for-1 match, Meijer is rebranding its program with the the color orange to align more closely to the issue that continues to rise throughout the Midwest.
“Orange represents the color of hunger awareness, and we wanted Simply Give to connect more closely to the issue at hand,” Meijer co-chairman Hank Meijer said. “Thanks to the continued support and generosity of our customers, team members and pantry partners, we’ve been feeding hungry families in the communities we serve for more than five years.
“We believe these changes will bring more awareness to the Simply Give program, and in turn, help us give even more to our food pantry partners.”
During each Simply Give campaign, customers are encouraged to purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards that are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to the food pantry selected by the store. The Simply Give program runs three times a year; the spring campaign will run through May 12.
Although the spring campaign is seven weeks long, the opportunity for customers to get their Simply Give donations double matched will be April 11-12.
Customers can find the rebranded Simply Give donation cards on fixtures near the checkout, and grocery and pharmacy departments.