Company : Albertsons Companies
Program category : Food

Origins:

Hunger Is was launched in 2014 with the goal of eradicating childhood hunger. In 2017, the campaign was further honed to focus on breakfast programs and ensure that each child has a healthy meal to start the day. To date, Hunger Is has raised $30.2 million, including $5.5 million in 2017 and $7.2 million in 2018, funded 77 million breakfasts and touched the lives of 200,000 kids through the work of 281 nonprofit grant recipients. Each year Albertsons Companies stores undertake a month-long Hunger Is campaign in which stores raise funds for a hunger relief organization in their areas. Customers donate through the pin pad or give cash donations at checkout. The organizations complete a grant application before the campaign, which allows every store to adopt one or two organizations as recipients of their funds. To provide transparency and clarity and show customers that the funds are going to a reputable local charity, stores display Point of Sale signs with the name of their recipient organization. The impact of each grant and the overall program is measured through our partnership with Mission Measurement. We ask all organizations to fill out a survey in lieu of their interim report. This survey provides data on the organization’s core competency and a benchmark on their “Impact on Investment,” i.e. a cost per outcome. Additionally, we were able to gather data on the need in the organization’s area of operation and determine how well the organization is doing on filling that need.

Contribution:

Albertsons Companies Foundation founded Hunger Is in 2014 with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF). In 2017, Albertsons Companies Foundation took sole management of the initiative. At all times, 99 percent of the fundraising has happened in Albertsons Companies stores — Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, ACME Markets, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Star Market, and other banners. Albertsons Companies Foundation develops and distributes store materials, including in-store POS materials, pre-recorded in-store audio programming, etc., manages accounting and works directly with a committee of industry experts on awarding grants. To help the grantee organizations garner support, the Foundation provides a Communications Tool Kit containing a press release template, sample social media posts, newsletter message template and other communications urging supporters to go to their local Albertsons/Safeway/Vons/etc. store and donate to their organization’s breakfast program. Once results are known, stores post a sign Thank You sign with the fundraising results.

Objectives:

  • Increase access breakfast for children in food-insecure families in the areas in which we operate by funding the most effective and efficient hunger relief nonprofits in those areas  Educate the public on the existence of childhood hunger in America
  • Engage the public to raise awareness about childhood hunger in America
  • Build capacity among service providers/community organizations and share of best practices to understand broader needs of the community while bringing awareness and exposure to the problems and potential solutions to them  
  • Create synergies between various community-based programs that lead to higher awareness of available resources, especially in marginalized communities with greater needs  
  • Encourage coordination and cross-referrals between nonprofit organizations and individuals in communities with significant needs for services  
  • Support advocacy and policy work (without directly influencing legislature)  
  • Provide access to programs/resources, including online networking

Impact:

  • Increase access breakfast for children in food-insecure families in the areas in which we operate by funding the most effective and efficient hunger relief nonprofits in those areas  Educate the public on the existence of childhood hunger in America
  • Engage the public to raise awareness about childhood hunger in America
  • Build capacity among service providers/community organizations and share of best practices to understand broader needs of the community while bringing awareness and exposure to the problems and potential solutions to them  
  • Create synergies between various community-based programs that lead to higher awareness of available resources, especially in marginalized communities with greater needs  
  • Encourage coordination and cross-referrals between nonprofit organizations and individuals in communities with significant needs for services  
  • Support advocacy and policy work (without directly influencing legislature)  
  • Provide access to programs/resources, including online networking

Quote:

We’re a supermarket company, so hunger relief is part of who we are. We’re proud that, through Hunger Is, we can fight childhood hunger coast to coast. The donations help us Make Every Day a Better Day in the communities we serve. We credit the success of Hunger Is to three groups of dedicated people: Our customers, who give selflessly and generously to make sure that the children in their communities get a healthy breakfast each day. Our employees, who tirelessly work to promote Hunger Is in our stores and support hunger relief programs in their hometowns and neighborhoods. Our partner organizations, whose vital nutrition programs help kids focus on school and life, not where their next meal will come from.---- Jim Donald, President and CEO, Albertsons Companies