Nominees

 

Food for February 2015

Company: Newport Avenue Market
Program category: Programs Addressing Food Insecurity

Origins:

“Food or February” was started in December of 2011 by Newport Avenue Market, an employee-owned specialty grocery store based in Bend, Oregon. The annual program is dedicated to serving the hungry in Central Oregon (the tri-county region in which Bend is located, with a population of almost 200,000) by relying on cash donations to purchase food in bulk at wholesale prices. Each year, Newport matches customer donations dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000. Since the program’s inception, total funds raised equal $134,442.

Every December, Newport Avenue Market invites customers to participate in the “Food for February” fundraiser by asking that they donate a dollar or more at the register. Upon donation, each customer receives a paper plate to proudly display at the store. In January, Newport tallies the total donation amount and then matches funds. With all proceeds going towards local food kitchen organization Family Kitchen, Newport Avenue Market works hand-in-hand with their wholesaler Unified Grocers to use the funds to selectively order hundreds of fresh foods from Family Kitchen’s wish list.

It is not commonly known that February is one of the hardest hitting months for hungry families in Central Oregon. Money is tight after the holidays, donations dwindle and food pantries are depleted. The “Food for February” program originated because of the need during that time and takes place during the Holiday Season when customers are more likely able to donate and giving is top-of-mind.

Contribution:

“Food for February” by the numbers:

  • A total of $134,442 has been donated since program inception in 2011, $64,222 of that amount was matched by Newport Avenue Market.
  • In 2015, $31,000 was donated by the community, $25,000 was matched by Newport totaling $56,000.
  • 2015 food quantities included 2,880 gallons of milk, 23,040 eggs, 2,010 pounds of Boar’s Head lunch meats, 960 pounds of cheese, 2,310 pounds of bananas, 9,600 pounds of beef, chicken, pork, seafood items, 960 pounds of tomatoes, 254 pounds of hot dogs, and 78 #10 cans of chili have been donated, among other miscellaneous items.

Objectives:

Newport Avenue Market has a philosophy that no matter the person's situation, everyone deserves a meal. Observing that the holiday season is a time of giving, especially for the food banks that are flooded with donations, the Market wondered, “What happens after the holiday season, when it’s still cold outside, and there are still hungry families?” With this thought in mind, “Food for February” was born.

2015 Program Objectives:

  • Raise money donated by Newport customers to feed the hungry in Central Oregon. 
  • Match raised funds dollar-for-dollar, for a total goal of $50,000 (goal exceeded by $6,000)
  • Work with major brands currently carried in the store, as well as the Market’s wholesale partner Unified Grocers to selectively order hundreds of fresh foods, from the organization’s wish list at wholesale prices.
  • Continue to serve as one of the largest food donation programs in the tri-county region.

Impact:

  • “Food for February” has grown 2,240% since the program’s inception. Newport expects the upward trend to continue in December 2016, and will continue to match donated funds dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000.
  • Of the $134,442 that has been donated since program inception in 2011, $70,220 has been donated by the community and $64,222 has been matched by Newport. Those dollars bought groceries at cost from the Market and their vendors, to create meals for the entire year at Family Kitchen.2011,
    • $1,250 was raised with a $1,250 match totaling $2,500
    • 2012, $4,025 was raised with a $4,025 match, totaling $8,050
    • 2013, $12,668 was raised with a 100% match totaling $25,336
    • 2014, $21,278 was raised with a 100% match totaling $42,556
    • 2015, $31,000 was raised with a 100% match totaling $56,000
  • 2015 food quantities included 2,880 gallons of milk, 23,040 eggs, 2,010 pounds of Boar’s Head lunch meats, 960 pounds of cheese, 2,310 pounds of bananas, 9,600 pounds of beef, chicken, pork, seafood items, 960 pounds of tomatoes, 254 pounds of hot dogs, and 78 #10 cans of chili have been donated, among other miscellaneous items. By working with United Grocers and other in-store brands, Newport has stretched the donations, allowing for more food to be purchased in bulk at wholesale prices. The program has been remarkably successful, much in part due to Newport’s loyal and giving customers who have played an integral role in supporting the program, thus feeding hungry families right in their own neighborhood.

Quote:

“In 2015, through the generosity of our customers that chose to shop with us and donate to Food for February, Family Kitchen will have fed 57,000 meals. Our customers donated $31,000; we matched those funds dollar-for-dollar, for a total of $56,000. Those dollars bought groceries at cost from Newport Ave. Market and our vendors, to create meals for the ENTIRE YEAR at Family Kitchen. Just another reminder of how totally cool (and caring) our loyal customers are!” “One thing we can do is count on our customers to support our community with their generosity, and this year’s Food for February was no exception!” - Lauren G. R. Johnson, Leader of the Pack (vrrrooom!) & CEO of Newport Avenue Market

“Food for February is the largest in-kind donation in Family Kitchen’s history. Knowing the entire community pitched in to make it all happen provides a level of respect that our diners don’t often feel. This has become not just a treat for February, but a healthy boost all year ‘round. We are beyond grateful.” - Donna Burklo, PT Development & Marketing Director, Family Kitchen