About Us

FMI Community Outreach Nominee

Independence From Hunger

Company: Grocery Outlet Inc.
Program category: Programs Addressing Food Insecurity

Origins:

Grocery Outlet Presents Independence from Hunger is a month-long, company-wide food drive during July, bringing together Grocery Outlet stores and their customers to help feed people in their local communities who are facing hunger and food insecurity. It includes brining information to those suffering food insecurity information on agencies in their community that assist with other needs as well. For the past two years—2011 & 2012—Grocery Outlet's 160+ stores have partnered with local food assistance agencies in the western states of California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, to help feed the need in their own towns. Stores also host an array of events – from educational seminars about local food assistance agencies to family-friendly festivals – to drive donations and educate the public about eliminating hunger. Throughout July, a time when food banks experience the greatest need, Grocery Outlet encourages their customers and employees to donate food and cash to support local food assistance agencies.

Contribution:

Customers and Grocery Outlet employees could contribute to the program in several different ways: • Donate specially-marked food items that the local food assistance agencies designated as high-need. Each store that participated had a collection bin for these items, and they were donated directly to the food bank. • Make a cash donation at the register. Donations went directly to the local food assistance agencies. • Join the in-store events at their local Grocery Outlet store to support the Independence from Hunger food drive. Many stores also hosted educational sessions about signing up for food assistance, getting free health resources, and more. In 2011, we raised more than $225,000, and in 2012, we increased that amount to $292,000. We hope to do even more to stop hunger in the years to come.

Objectives:

Food assistance agencies experience a great need for support during the summer months, where giving is at a lull. Our objective with the Independence from Hunger program is to provide these food agencies with extra support in the form of food and cash donations, as well as bring more awareness around food insecurity in our local communities. Many of us still think of hunger as happening “out there” and do not realize that local families struggle to provide food on an everyday basis. Independence from Hunger is meant to help those families and support our local communities.

Impact:

Our company mission statement is “Touching Lives for the Better.” What makes Independence from Hunger so powerful is its hyper-local nature and the ability of each of our local owners to individually touch lives. It is our local owner operators that make this program work—they are hometown philanthropists, driving efforts to increase hunger awareness and address food scarcity. They deeply care about their communities and are able to reach out to those in need on an individual and personal level. In terms of numbers, we’ve provided over $517,000 to local assistance agencies in 2 years, (actually in just 2 months, July of 2011 and July of 2102), as well as supporting ongoing relationships with local agencies. Many of our owners continue to give to these agencies year-round, even after the close of each Independence from Hunger campaign.

Quote:

“We are humbled by the generosity of our community of independent operators and customers, and grateful to be able to help people who don't always know where they'll find their next meal. Our team of independent owners and operators are so committed to their local communities.” MacGregor Read, Co-CEO