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Company : Food Lion
Program category : Food

Origins:

Building on the foundation of our Food Lion Feeds philanthropic platform we launched last year and continuing our commitment to help eliminate the choice those in our communities have to make when they are hungry, Food Lion undertook a new program this year called The Great Pantry Makeover…Fighting Hunger One Pantry at a Time. 

 In honor of Feeding America's® Hunger Action Month™, we wanted to offer our associates an opportunity to give back in our local communities as part of an associate volunteer event, while making a sustainable impact in our communities.  As a result, we launched The Great Pantry Makeover, where we set out to makeover 30 pantries in 30 days in the 10-states in which we operate, and give back 1,200 service hours to leave our communities a better place.

During the month, hundreds of associates volunteered their time and energy to expand, refurbish and restock 38 local food pantries in Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

In addition to stocking shelves with food donations, the makeovers included cleaning and painting pantries, installing new shelving to expand storage capacity, and even donating new refrigerators and freezers, so that pantries can offer fresh produce and frozen food to individuals and families in the community.  And, after the refurbishment, each pantry makeover included a product donation to restock the shelves.  Throughout the month-long event, we exceeded our goals by donating 1.7 million meals, 1,400 service hours and 38 pantries.

Contribution:

Food Lion donated paint, shelving, equipment such as refrigerators, freezers and other items, as well as food and much more, resulting in 1.7 million meals though these initiatives alone.  In addition, we donated 1,400 retail service hours where our retail team went into each of their local communities and pantries to help refurbish pantries. Also, Food Lion's annual leadership meeting fell during September the more than 200 leaders took an afternoon and traveled to eight area pantries for mobile food donations and pantry refurbishment.  We also made a product donation in honor of our Founder, Mr. Ralph W. Ketner, to Rowan Helping Ministries, which he helped start, as well as had the Food Lion senior leadership team serve lunch to those in the community who come for a free lunch.  Mr. Ketner was so honored, and it was a special event too.

Objectives:

During The Great Pantry Makeover, we set out to accomplish the following:

  • Raise awareness about hunger issues in our community during Hunger Action Month by engaging our associates and community partners, and telling our story through local press, Lion's Tale blog, Food Lion News and Food Lion Twitter handles and Facebook.
  • Create a month-long associate volunteer event (last year was only a week) to engage associates with hunger-relief efforts and help local agencies near their stores.
  • Expand much-needed capacity at local feeding agencies and help to serve more people and increase capacity to offer more fresh produce and meats to their clients.
  • Provide volunteer hours to refurbish these facilities for clients with the goal of completing 30 pantries in 30 days.
  • Continue progress toward our commitment of donating more than 500 million meals by the end of 2020.Of note, we surpassed 100 million meals in September!

Impact:

During The Great Pantry Makeover, we set out to accomplish the following:

  • Raise awareness about hunger issues in our community during Hunger Action Month by engaging our associates and community partners, and telling our story through local press, Lion's Tale blog, Food Lion News and Food Lion Twitter handles and Facebook.
  • Create a month-long associate volunteer event (last year was only a week) to engage associates with hunger-relief efforts and help local agencies near their stores.
  • Expand much-needed capacity at local feeding agencies and help to serve more people and increase capacity to offer more fresh produce and meats to their clients.
  • Provide volunteer hours to refurbish these facilities for clients with the goal of completing 30 pantries in 30 days.
  • Continue progress toward our commitment of donating more than 500 million meals by the end of 2020.Of note, we surpassed 100 million meals in September!

Quote:

"Giving back to our communities is part of who we are as a company and something we are just as passionate about as serving our customers in our stores," said Meg Ham, Food Lion president. "Hunger Action Month provides a great opportunity for us to celebrate a month of service through The Great Pantry Makeover, so our associates can spend time in our communities remodeling and restocking local food pantries to help them continue to provide food to people who are making tough choices because they’re struggling with hunger."