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Company : The GIANT Company
Program category : 2023 Social Impact


No matter how big or small, action inspires action. As part of The GIANT Company’s ongoing efforts to heal the planet by reducing food waste, the company undertook two major initiatives in spring 2023 to bring this commitment to life for its customers and communities.  

In mid-April, The GIANT Company in partnership with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful launched its Healing the Planet grant program. Now in its third year of focusing on environmental initiatives within its local communities, this year, $300,000 was to be awarded to projects that address food waste prevention, reduction, and recovery across The GIANT Company’s operating areas. 

Secondly, in honor of Stop Food Waste Day on April 26, The GIANT Company and Flashfood announced a major milestone in its sustainability and food waste reduction efforts. Since partnering with Flashfood, a digital marketplace that connects consumers to heavily discounted fresh and shelf stable food with limited shelf life nearing its best-by date, in May 2020, The GIANT Company diverted six million pounds of food from landfills. The Flashfood program started as a four-store pilot in 2020 and has since been integrated across 190 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.  

These food waste reduction efforts are in addition to ongoing programs The GIANT Company has in place. Last year alone, through its Meat the Needs program and in partnership with Feeding America®, more than five million pounds of safe, consumable fresh food that would have otherwise gone unsold was frozen and donated to regional food bank partners.  


Efforts made to reduce food waste by everyone in the fresh food supply chain are important, especially considering the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that the food system accounts for nearly 1/3 of all global emissions. The Healing the Planet grant program and Flashfood partnership are two-fold for The GIANT Company and its strong commitment to not only healing the planet, but also reducing and diverting food waste from local landfills.  

Funding for the Healing the Planet grants was provided by customers at GIANT, MARTIN’S and GIANT Heirloom Market stores who rounded up their grocery purchase to the nearest dollar from March through May.  


As a grocer, The GIANT Company is tackling the issue of food waste in its operations every day. This includes taking steps to address the issue with its customers and the local communities served. By understanding that we can all make changes to divert food waste from our landfills, what we do to reduce food waste now will create a more sustainable tomorrow for us all.  

The GIANT Company’s objectives for its Healing the Planet grant program and Flashfood partnership include: 

  • Expand awareness of food waste issue. 

  • Encourage local communities and customers to take steps to reduce their own food waste. 

  • Provide customers with access to fresh foods at significantly reduced prices. 


Through the Healing the Planet grant program, a total of $300,000 in funding was awarded to 23 recipients in support of projects that address food waste prevention, reduction, and recovery. Grants range from $2,500 up to $20,000. One of the recipients was Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., which received $20,000 to complete an anaerobic digester project for conversion of community food waste and dairy manure into biogas and grid-tied electricity.  

“On behalf of Dickinson College and the farm, we are grateful to The GIANT Company and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful for their support of our food waste to energy initiative,” said Matt Steiman, energy & livestock manager, Dickinson College. “This project will benefit farmers, the watershed and our climate. We are elated and look forward to working with these local partners to make our community more sustainable.” 


As a direct result of diverting six million pounds of food from landfills, The GIANT Company and Flashfood have together saved more than 10 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of taking 1,186 cars off the road for the year. The food saved equates to more than two million meals that fed families instead of ending up in landfills.  

Earned media awareness raised awareness for both healing the planet-focused initiatives with more than 35 media placements, generating nearly 264,000 potential impressions. 


“At The GIANT Company, we’re constantly seeking out ways to deliver on our purpose and do our part to heal the planet, and teaming up with Flashfood has helped us do both. This milestone demonstrates the power of partnership and how together, we can have a real impact on reducing food waste, one of the most pressing issues facing our industry and society, while providing another way for our customers to save when shopping with us.” 
– John Ruane, interim president, The GIANT Company. 

Support Statement:

“Not only do these projects save natural resources and reduce the amount of material that enters the waste stream, but some will also provide food security to those in need. We are honored to continue our partnership with The GIANT Company to provide opportunities to make a difference in the efficiencies of food waste within Pennsylvania communities.”
- Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful 


“This is an exciting milestone in our partnership with The GIANT Company, and it’s just scratching the surface of the impact our partnership will have for shoppers and the planet. The GIANT Company set out to leverage innovative solutions to make a real impact in the fight against food waste. Their commitment to sustainable practices demonstrates their dedication to supporting the communities they serve, and we are excited to be part of their efforts.”
- said Brody Slacer, head of growth & impact at Flashfood