As a food retailer, TOPS Friendly Markets realized the importance of being a direct conduit for our local food banks and the customers in the communities our stores serve. In 2006 Food 2 Families was started in Buffalo, NY. Food 2 Families is a one day food drive that allows TOPS the opportunity to educate our customers about the increased local hunger needs.We are able to use our stores as a convenient way for customers to make a donation directly to their local food bank. Donations are accepted in many forms: cash donations are accepted at the registers, customers can bring nonperishable food from home and drop them in a bin located on the front end, they can purchase a nonperishable food item from the list that we provide to them while shopping (The list contains the nutritious items most needed by that local food bank.), or they can purchase a Little Brown Bag of Hope at the register. A Little Brown Bag of Hope is a pre-configured, brown paper bag filled with nutritious items that are highly requested by the local food bank Once purchased the bags are then placed in a bin on the front end of the store.
TOPS Friendly markets encourages local media, businesses, and schools to participate in the one day food drive. School choirs are encouraged to come to the store's and perform the day of the event. TOPS makes a corporate nutritional food donation the day of the event to the local food banks. TOPS encourages our vendors to participate as well.
The program objectives are to help raise the level of awareness and understanding of hunger, and the need to STOP hunger in the communities our stores serve. Our TOPS Friendly Markets corporate philanthropic mission is to: Help eradicate hunger and improve the quality of life for children. This program allows TOPS Friendly Markets the opportunity to make a difference. TOPS objective is to also make donating a convenient and highly accessible process for customers. - Customers may not be as apt to drive to a food bank to make a donation but they do come grocery shopping.
It is the largest one day fundraiser and feeds over a million people. It has been extended to six other markets.
“Helping to eradicate hunger in the communities we serve is a part of Tops’ core mission,” said Frank Curci, Tops chairman of the board and chief executive officer. “It is important that we help our neighbors, especially at this time of the year and we are committed to this food drive on an annual basis to raise support for the local food banks, in the communities we serve.”
“The Food Bank of Western New York is incredibly grateful for the partnership with Tops Friendly Markets all year long, but we are especially appreciative of their support through the Food 2 Families drive. Last year, this event helped us to provide more than 1.1 million meals to hungry Western New York families during the holiday season,” said Marylou Borowiak, President & CEO of the Food Bank of WNY. “Time and time again, Tops Friendly Markets goes beyond the call of duty, positively impacting the lives of so many in our community. Their partnership is essential to the Food Bank as we continue to fight hunger one day at a time.”