Addressing hunger in our communities is a core focus for Price Chopper/Market 32. Early in the year it became apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic was creating greater need and profoundly impacting the services of regional food banks and local food pantries and kitchens.
Fresh recovery, food drives, fundraising at the register and charitable donations are all part of our regular efforts in the fight against hunger.
• On November 1, we begin a month-long chain-wide Check Out Hunger campaign, where customers can round up their change at the register to benefit regional food banks. Price Chopper will match all donations up to $20,000
• Each year, Price Chopper/Market 32 donates over 800 turkeys to the annual Equinox Inc. Community Thanksgiving Dinner, which provides meals to thousands of our neighbors in need in the Capital District of NYS. This year, instead of the traditional community meal, we are collaborating with local restaurants and food service entities to prepare the Thanksgiving meals, which will then be delivered by volunteer drivers.
• During the month of June, Price Chopper/Market 32 held its annual Fill a Glass with Hope milk drive, resulting in over 13,000 half gallons of milk donated to regional food banks in our marketing areas.
• In May, in response to reports that the closing of restaurants and schools had left dairy farmers with no other recourse than to dump milk, Price Chopper/Market 32 collaborated with Dean Foods/ADA Northeast and Remarkable Liquids to donate 2,500 1/2 gallons of milk to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY.
• Also in response to excess dairy and to help farmers, Price Chopper/Market 32 collaborated with NYS Ag & Markets to facilitate the Nourish NY program announced by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, which distributes coupons that can be redeemed for dairy items like cheese, milk, yogurt, sour cream and butter.
• Price Chopper/Market 32 works with regional food banks to donate meat, produce, deli, bakery, seafood and prepared foods via our fresh recovery program. Despite additional pandemic-related duties forced on our store teams and food pantry staffing difficulties that have impacted their ability to pick up product, over 1.4 million pounds of food has been donated.
• Throughout the year, Price Chopper/Market 32 receives hundreds of requests from organizations wishing to hold food donation collections in our stores. Our store teams are empowered to approve these requests, and while data on the results are not maintained, we feel confident that thousands of pounds of food are donated to local food insecurity initiatives through these collections.
• To date, Price Chopper/Market 32 has made donations of food and product, gift cards, bags, sponsorships and cash grants totaling over $500,000 to food banks, school backpack and meals on wheels programs, veterans support services, community foundations, and grassroots food drives and hunger relief efforts. As we enter the holiday season, we expect this amount to increase significantly.
Addressing food insecurity is an ongoing objective. The activities mentioned above have been escalated and/or fall outside the norm of our usual practices, given the pandemic. Our objective during this time has been to be as available and responsive to the needs of the community as possible.