Company : Food Lion
Program category : Health


When 63,000 associates come together, communities are transformed. In September 2016, Food Lion combined grocery know-how with a passion to end hunger to 'makeover' 38 food pantries in its 10-state footprint in 30 days through the Food Lion Feeds' Great Pantry Makeover. From Georgia to Pennsylvania and many states in-between, Food Lion mobilized its community to eliminate hunger by providing more than 1 million meals during Hunger Action Month and more than 1,400 volunteer hours by renovating facilities, providing equipment and stocking pantries. The Makeover served as part of Food Lion's commitment to ending hunger and providing 500 million meals by 2020. To successfully execute this month-long service project, Food Lion used 30 Feeding America food bank partners as a resource to identify the 38 recipient pantries. To ensure diversity geographically and organizationally, Food Lion requested three nominations per food bank and selected 38 based on each agency's needs. Additionally, Food Lion's External Communications team partnered with Food Lion retail associates to obtain volunteers who stocked the pantries with fresh and non-perishable food items, painted and repaired existing facilities, put together shelving and helped install new equipment into the pantries. The External Communications team utilized online channels to promote The Makeovers, highlighting the work done at each pantry makeover by Food Lion associates. Channels included the company's "Lion's Tale" blog, Facebook, Twitter, company website and other social media channels. Food Lion conducted local media outreach in each food pantry market to raise awareness and support of hunger relief.


With Food Lion's network of 58,000 pantries serving 46.5 million people in need, the grocer's research identified facility management and maintenance were at the top of the list of needs for Feeding America agencies. To help feeding agencies continue their mission, Food Lion rallied its retail associates across 10 states and contributed more than 1,400 volunteer hours to fully renovate and stock 38 pantries with fresh and non-perishable food, as well as the updated equipment that is essential to continue feeding neighbors in need. Additionally, the grocer donated more than 1.7 million meals which exceeded the organization's initial goal of 1 million meals. Throughout the month of September, Hunger Action Month, The Great Pantry Makeover campaign reached 8,860,038 readers and viewers and exceeded campaign goals on all levels. But more importantly, it was the lasting impact Food Lion had on these agencies and their constituents that truly made a difference.


In 2014, Food Lion streamlined its philanthropic giving to focus on what they do best – feed. Out of that focus, the grocer launched Food Lion Feeds with the goal to provide 500 million meals by 2020. As part of this program, Food Lion Feeds launched its first volunteer service week with store associates. During the week, nearly 200 associates completed 19 events and contributed more than 500 volunteer service hours. The inaugural event was well received as associates asked for more volunteer opportunities. Because of Food Lion's associates desire to make an even great impact in the communities they serve, Food Lion Feeds executed its first month-long service project, the Great Pantry Makeover, in 2015. In 2016, the grocer brought The Makeover back for the second year with the goal to engage Food Lion's 63,000 associates, provide 1 million meals and raise awareness of food insecurity through the company footprint.


The Food Lion Feeds' Great Pantry Makeover was well received by its audiences. 

Objective: Engage Food Lion's 63,000 corporate and retail associates with Food Lion Feeds and the Great Pantry Makeover campaign, creating ambassadors for the program and passion around ending hunger.

  • Food Lion associates donated more than 1,400 hours of service to the project.
  • We saw increased volunteer engagement and donations for local feeding agencies throughout Food Lion's 10-state footprint.

Objective: Provide 1 million meals through food and equipment donations.  

  • We exceeded the philanthropic goal of providing 1 million meals and donated 1.7 million meals in total. In addition to raised awareness of the company's philanthropic platform, Food Lion Feeds, we saw increased audience engagement throughout our social media platforms. Throughout the month of September, the campaign reached 8,860,038 readers and viewers and exceeded campaign goals on all levels as well as provided a platform for feeding agencies.


"Giving back to our communities through volunteer service is part of who we are as a company and something we are just as passionate about as serving customers in our stores," said Meg Ham, Food Lion president. "Hunger Action Month provides a great opportunity for us to celebrate a month of service through 'The Great Pantry Makeover' by enabling our associates to nourish our communities through local food pantry capacity expansion, refurbishment and nutritious food donations."

"This makeover and donation will allow us to serve more families in need," said April Ghoston, Zion Missionary Baptist Church Food Pantry manager. "The need for food continues to increase in our community. This is such a blessing for our community, and we can't thank Food Lion enough."

"This is happening at an awesome time for us because we will be able to make it through the end of the month as far as food is concerned,” Cheri McDaniel, Christ Central New Ellenton pantry coordinator said. “We have two more food distribution days in September, and there will be 60 to 65 families at each of them. The major thing for us is that we have been able to purchase some new shelves. We had been stacking stuff on crates, but now everything is going to look more organized and neater. The holes in our floor have been repaired, and we have new flooring. We’ve also gotten air conditioning, and we have more room because we knocked down two walls."