Hy-Vee has a long history of combatting food insecurity in local communities. Responding to crisis, supporting families in need, and providing food and water resources has been a part of Hy-Vee’s mission to make lives easier, healthier and happier for over 90 years. In 2022, in response to rising food insecurity, Hy-Vee launched a number of initiatives including an effort to combat low food supply in local food banks called “Food Bank Fridays” – a new fundraising campaign to provide immediate assistance to families in need. “Food Bank Fridays” invites customers to make a $1 or $5 donation at their local Hy-Vee or Dollar Fresh Market, or online via Hy-VeeAislesOnline.com. All funds raised will remain in the local community and work to replenish local food bank supplies. The fundraising efforts are particularly important this year as federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were reduced to pre-pandemic levels, impacting many families who rely on those benefits each month. In addition to collecting donations, Hy-Vee initiated a social media campaign to raise awareness for local food banks, emphasizing the role they play in combating food insecurity. Every Friday, Hy-Vee’s social media pages feature a food bank benefitting from the fundraiser. Additionally, Hy-Vee has distributed nearly 7,500 hams to families in need in 10 states this year. The retailer also delivered more than 17 semi-loads of food donations to local food banks and packaged 300,000 meals for Ukraine. Hy-Vee has additional fundraisers and special events planned for 2022 to help create hunger-free communities.
To date, Hy-Vee has sponsored 11 Food Bank Fridays with a post on Facebook each week highlighting a food bank or supplier partner. A list of posts can be found at: https://www.hy-vee.com/corporate/news-events/promotions/hyvee-one-step-food-bank-fridays-fundraiser/. Currently, Hy-Vee supports 20 Feeding America-affiliated food banks across 11 states, which support thousands of smaller food pantries to distribute food and supplies to thousands of local organizations that serve families in all Hy-Vee communities. In addition to Food Bank Fridays, Hy-Vee helped with food insecurity efforts globally by hosting an event called “United for Ukraine” in April. This Meals from the Heartland meal packaging event was held at Hy-Vee’s Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa, that produced 300,000 meals for Ukrainian families. Members of the public were encouraged to sign up for packaging shifts and Hy-Vee also contributed $50,000 from the company’s One Step charitable program to fund the event.
Our overall objective is to eliminate food insecurity in our trade territory by providing access to fresh, nutritious food to at-risk communities. In 2022, Hy-Vee endeavored to replenish local food banks by launching “Food Bank Fridays.” With federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits returning to pre-pandemic levels earlier this year, Hy-Vee wanted to help bridge the gap. Every year, Hy-Vee collaborates with vendors, suppliers and partners to provide meals to families and donations to food banks. Currently, Hy-Vee supports 20 Feeding America-affiliated food banks, which support thousands of smaller food pantries nationwide. In addition, Hy-Vee is always looking for ways to help those in need, even outside its trade territory. The retailer has a strong history of helping communities across the United States or the world who are impacted by natural disasters, or war such as those in Ukraine.
To date, as part of the “Food Bank Fridays” campaign, Hy-Vee and its customers have raised $1 million for local food banks – which is equivalent to approximately 10 million meals! Currently, this campaign matches the success of their 2020 COVID-19 food bank fundraiser and has surpassed the success of their earlier 2022 Scan Out Hunger campaign. There is no anticipated end date for Food Bank Fridays. By showcasing food banks directly impacted by shoppers’ donations on their social channels, community members could see the difference they were making by ensuring local food banks remain well stocked. This collaborative effort unifies local communities towards a common goal: fighting food insecurity, together with their local Hy-Vee. Overall, through its One Step program, Hy-Vee has helped communities by providing 20 million meals for Feeding America-affiliated food banks, 16.6 million meals for Meals from the Heartland, 2.1 million bottles of water to those in need, 520,090 trees to better the environment and 97 wells to provide clean water.
“If Hy-Vee can help fight food insecurity, then we have a responsibility to our customers, employees and communities to step up and lead the effort,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee chairman and CEO. “We know that the support we have gotten from our customers and communities, along with Hy-Vee’s contribution, will help us have a major impact on the lives of many – both here at home and across the world.”
“This gift from Hy-Vee comes at a great time as folks in our community continue to experience increased prices for food, fuel and housing,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “We appreciate Hy-Vee’s commitment to their community and helping us Transform Hunger into Hope in the Ozarks.” “Food insecurity is ongoing, especially in times of war and unrest, and we are committed to feeding those in need,” said Greg DeHaai, Meals from the Heartland Executive Director. “Meals from the Heartland is honored to partner with Governor Reynolds and Hy-Vee to offer our caring community a way to give back and help feed hungry Ukrainians during these desperate times.”