Company : Food Lion
Program category : Food Insecurity


Food Lion believes no one should have to choose between dinner and rent or gas and groceries. That is why it nourishes its communities through Food Lion Feeds. Since 1957, customers have trusted Food Lion to nourish their families and set them up for success in life. The founders committed to keeping prices low so customers can feed their families with fresh and affordable food. This deep-rooted heritage in caring for the towns and cities served helped Ralph W. Ketner, one of the founders, establish Rowan Helping Ministries, the first local food pantry in Food Lion’s hometown of Salisbury, NC.

Following in his footsteps, Food Lion founded Food Lion Feeds, a philanthropic platform focused on hunger relief. Addressing food insecurity is at the core of Food Lion’s efforts every day as they work toward nourishing its communities.

Food Lion Feeds’ approach to addressing food insecurity has transformed over the last decade through these efforts:

  • Feeding Families Today – With community feeding partners, Food Lion Feeds nourishes neighbors by providing immediate access to food.
  • Nourishing Neighbors for Tomorrow – Food Lion Feeds serves more clients by building capacity for partner feeding agencies.
  • Empowering People to Set Them Up for Success in Life – Through grant support and partnerships, Food Lion Feeds helps address root causes by providing nutritional education and job skills training programs.


In 2014, Food Lion launched Food Lion Feeds, pledging to donate 500 million meals to families experiencing hunger by the end of 2020. Food Lion Feeds achieved this monumental goal early in May 2019, significantly impacting countless individuals and communities. As it sets its sights on providing 1 billion more meals by 2025, it remains steadfast in its commitment to nourishing neighbors experiencing hunger across Food Lion’s 10-state operating footprint. In addition to helping provide immediate access to food, they support partnerships that increase capacity and capabilities. They award grants to feeding partners crucial to offering educational programs to reduce disparities. They also invest in programs encouraging participants to develop skills or training that leads to employment and self-reliance. Food Lion’s 1,108 retail stores partners with a community pantry to donate unsaleable and edible food – fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy products and shelf-stable items.


Food Lion Feeds’ approach to addressing food insecurity has evolved significantly over the past decade. Partnerships maximize their impact by expanding services or providing mobile solutions. This ensures immediate access to food. The philanthropic platform is a key pillar of its brand, and it builds emotional connections with neighbors through four annual in-store campaigns. With grant funding, they support their partnerships’ nutrition education and cooking classes, teaching gardens and client-choice food pantries. This equips neighbors with resources to make healthier decisions. They invest in culinary training and workforce development programs to help neighbors develop lifelong skills for employment and self-reliance and address food insecurity’s root causes. They also partner with the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association to support student-athletes of the nation’s oldest historically Black athletic conference. Since 2021, Food Lion Feeds has awarded more than $200,000 in grants to stock campus food pantries and nutrition lounges.


With transformative solutions at the core of its partnerships, Food Lion Feeds has provided more than 1.2 billion meals and is on its way to 1.5 billion meals by 2025. By working together, they catalyze change, improving their capacity to provide more meals for their neighbors. For instance, dozens of students benefit from their partnership with the Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore, MD. The 12-week FoodWorks program offers culinary training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry. Similarly, their partnership with FeedNC in Mooresville, NC, supports warehouse and grocery workforce development, matching graduates with local businesses for gainful employment. The Community Solutions Center at Feeding Southwest Virginia Food Bank in Salem, VA, also depends on Food Lion Feeds. Aside from hands-on culinary training, the center provides nutritious meals for at-risk children in afterschool and summer programs. Food Lion fosters a culture of volunteerism that is integral to its mission. Associates find greater meaning in their work through volunteering, contributing more than 103,000 hours in the last decade. Their efforts, whether it’s sorting, packing or distributing food, make a tangible difference in their communities. The annual campaign, The Great Pantry Makeover, is a testament to their dedication with associates remodeling and stocking more than 280 pantries since 2015. All of these efforts, fueled by the power of collective action and community engagement, underscore the importance of working together to combat hunger.


“At Food Lion, we believe no one should have to choose between dinner and rent or gas and groceries. That’s why we’re passionate about helping address hunger in the towns and cities we serve through Food Lion Feeds, our hunger relief platform. Everyone deserves nutritious food to thrive. In partnership with community feeding partners, valuable suppliers, customers and associates, we can reach more communities, serve more people and alleviate food insecurity in a more direct and impactful way. Food Lion Feeds also addresses systemic issues related to food insecurity by creating innovative solutions. We’ve transformed the ways we tackle hunger by investing in nutrition education and cooking classes, teaching gardens and workforce development. By equipping our neighbors with the resources they need to alleviate barriers to food access and help them gain skills to become more financially stable, we set them up for success.”

- Meg Ham, President, Food Lion

Support Statement:

“Food Lion Feeds is an invaluable supporter of our efforts to combat food insecurity and empower the Charlotte/Mecklenburg, NC, community. The Food Lion Feeds hunger relief platform brings our vision to life through their unwavering partnership and generous food donations, financial support, grants and sponsorships. These contributions enable us to expand our programs and activities, reaching even more neighbors in need. Food Lion associates are dedicated to making a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve through active participation in our network of more than 40 pantries. Through the years, Food Lion Feeds exemplifies community involvement through a steadfast commitment to addressing food insecurity and offering crucial support. We are profoundly grateful for their ongoing generosity and positive impact on our community.”

- Lucy Mitchell, Chief Development Officer, Nourish Up