Food for Neighbors/Paw Away Hunger

Company: Festival Foods
Program category: Programs Addressing Food Insecurity


Festival Foods created the Food for Neighbors program in July 2004 to provide guests an opportunity to give back to local organizations in the communities we serve. Food for Neighbors began in 10 stores and expanded to all Festival Foods stores in 2012. Also in 2012, we created another program, Paw Away Hunger, to respond to the needs of local pet organizations. Festival Foods prepares reusable bags for display; then labels and displays them at every register in $5 and $10 quantities. Guests have the option of grabbing a bag and adding it to their grocery totals. Beginning in November 2016, both programs will transition from reusable bags to donation tags – still in the same $5 and $10 amounts. With the change will come enhanced visibility for both the Food for Neighbors and Paw Away Hunger programs, as tags will be displayed not only at the checkouts but also in the pet and canned food aisles.


All Food for Neighbors and Paw Away Hunger donations stay local. Festival Foods assigned each of its 25 stores a region and identified various organizations in each region as program recipients. Examples in the Green Bay region are the Salvation Army, Paul’s Pantry and the Brown County Food and Hunger Network. In addition to promoting Food for Neighbors and Paw Away Hunger to its guests, Festival Foods partners directly with numerous food pantries and animal organizations throughout Wisconsin, supplying product donations without taking a commission or charging an administrative fee. Festival Foods associates also may give back to their communities by contributing $1 a month to the Jeans Day Fund in exchange for a more relaxed dress code on the last Friday of each month. Again, these donations stay local to each region and benefit area food organizations.


Festival Foods’ biggest objective with both the Food for Neighbors and Paw Away Hunger programs is to bring awareness to our guests and our community members that these local programs are available. The company wants to support the communities it serves as much as it can. Festival Foods also wants guests to know that these programs are specific to Festival Foods and its culture. The company gives 100 percent of guest donations to these organizations to benefit the communities we serve. Festival Foods currently is working to improve both programs at store level by making the donation process faster and easier for guests.


Since its start in 2004, our Food for Neighbors program has raised $1,107,186 for local food and shelter organizations. Paw Away Hunger, which began in 2012, has raised $203,705 for local animal organizations. In all, Festival Foods has raised $1,310,892 to support 38 Wisconsin food pantries and 28 Wisconsin animal organizations. All of these organizations are located near Festival store locations. Just this year – from Jan. 1 to March 31 – our guests purchased 2,879 Food for Neighbors $5 and $10 bags. An additional $8,575 in food pantry donations came from the Jeans Day program, which provided $30,595 in groceries for those in need. Festival Foods regularly asks recipient organizations for a list of current needs to best match supply and demand. The largest Festival Foods locations collect an average of $4,000 every three months for Food for Neighbors and Paw Away Hunger. “Thank you, Festival Foods, for including us in your Paw Away Hunger program! With your wonderful program we've been able to purchase many much-needed basic supplies, which help us help more animals. Thank you!" – Bay Area Humane Society


"Our guests and associates are making a positive impact in their local communities with every contribution to Food for Neighbors and Paw Away Hunger," said Mark Skogen, Festival Foods President and CEO. "By promoting opportunities to contribute to these programs in our stores, we have the honor of helping call attention to some of the needs in our communities."

"The Food for Neighbors program fits perfectly with Paul’s Pantry’s motto, 'Neighbors Feeding Neighbors.' Along with other daily donations of food, Food for Neighbors helps our community feed more than 13,000 people on a daily basis. We at Paul’s Pantry are so grateful to have Festival Foods as a partner, as they are truly a Neighbor providing Food for Neighbors.” Craig, Paul’s Pantry “Food For Neighbors is a great program that helps raise awareness about food insecurity in our area by giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase food for those in need at the cash register. This year alone, the program has raised 4,658 pounds of food – that is roughly 3,583 meals for individuals in need. One in nine individuals struggle with food insecurity in our area, every meal makes a difference. Thank you, Festival Foods, for your support." Emily Moore, Executive Director, Feed my People