Since 1957, Food Lion has been a strong philanthropic partner in the communities it serves. However, giving was traditionally fragmented and included various areas like education, health and wellness, adults and children with disabilities, and hunger relief. Giving was also not aligned to the company’s core business, selling groceries, and "Easy, Fresh and Affordable. You Can Count on Food Lion Every Day," strategy. As a result, Food Lion’s customers and associates did not clearly understand what Food Lion stood for in its communities. In mid-2013, the company set out to change that, knowing that in order for Food Lion to win support, customers need to feel confident that Food Lion stands for something and is their partner in addressing a pressing issue in their community. That issue also needed to be closely tied to Food Lion’s core business and something that the company’s 63,000 associates could rally around. With that in mind, Food Lion established a branded community relations platform, Food Lion Feeds, which aligns with Food Lion’s core business of selling groceries and Easy, Fresh and Affordable business strategy and positions Food Lion as a leader in hunger relief in its local communities. By streamlining the company’s philanthropic giving to focus on hunger relief, Food Lion can now make more impactful use of limited philanthropic dollars. Furthermore, Food Lion Feeds has dramatically enhanced Food Lion’s recognition in its communities and generated positive feedback from customers, associates and partners for being easy to understand and participate in.
Food Lion launched Food Lion Feeds with a commitment to donate 500 million meals to families in need by the end of 2020. To underscore the new commitment, Food Lion Feeds provided 1 million meals in five cities in five days during a “Week of Giving" in June and associates volunteered to provide another 400,000 meals during a "Week of Service" in September. In 2014, Food Lion Feeds also held three in-store campaigns. Through the sale of Food Lion Feeds reusable bags, the company provided 1 million meals. Food Lion Feeds also donated 5 meals to a local food bank each time a customer purchased specially marked bagged gala apples resulting in another 1 million meal donation. Food Lion Feeds will donate an additional 1 million meals through its "Holidays Without Hunger" campaign. To accompany each campaign, Food Lion has made an additional corporate contribution of 500,000 meals.
Through Food Lion Feeds, Food Lion has made a commitment to donate 500 million meals to families in need by the end of 2020. Together with customers, associates and partners, we believe we can create a better tomorrow by uniting to eliminate the choices families are forced to make when they are hungry. We will do this by hosting four in-store campaigns annually, our store food donation program, and local donations and volunteerism. Through our work, we are also striving to not only help eliminate the choices families are forced to make when they are hungry, but also make the lines shorter at local feeding agencies. We are working to do this through strong partnerships with our food banks and feeding agencies and leveraging best practices and innovative ideas in the hunger relief space.
Through Food Lion Feeds, Food Lion has already donated more than 40 million meals toward our goal of 500 million by the end of 2020. The launch of the campaign alone proved immensely successful. The Food Lion Feeds Week of Giving donated 1 million meals in five cities in five days to celebrate the campaign launch. It also generated positive sentiments from Food Lion associates like Teresa Hayslett, Food Lion director of operations who said, “This feels good. Associates can go home at night and know they made a difference.” Additionally, our first two in-store campaigns have been a great success. June’s Reusable Bag Campaign resulted in 200,000 bags sold, an equivalent of 1 million meals donated. September’s Bagged Apple Campaign sales resulted more than 325,000 bags of apples sold, the equivalent of 1.5 million meals donated. Finally, the goal of our third and final 2014 in-store campaign, “Holidays Without Hunger,” is to donate 240,000 food boxes and an additional 1 million meals to local feeding agencies through at-register cash donations. Sample Social Media Response from Food Lion Customer: "Thank you Food Lion for launching your Food Lion Feeds Campaign. I bought my first reusable bag last night and will buy more when the opportunity arises. Speaking as a person that has had to choose between rent and a meal it is a struggle. Thank you for all you do in our communities" – Avalee Findley
“In difficult times, many people have to decide whether to pay rent, buy groceries or purchase gasoline to get to work, because they simply cannot do all three. At Food Lion, we believe no one should have to choose between dinner and paying rent or gasoline and buying groceries. That’s why we’re so passionate about ending hunger and working to make the lines shorter at local feeding agencies through Food Lion Feeds.” -Food Lion President Meg Ham