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Company : Hy-Vee, Inc
Program category : Neighborhood Health

Origins:

For 90 years, Hy-Vee has long been known for strong, actionable community partnerships within its geographic footprint. This year has brought immense challenges, from food shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic to civil unrest across the country. Hy-Vee knew that, as an organization, it could a make meaningful impact toward sustainable change for food insecurity and injustice. In 2020, the company took actions in two areas: 1) it committed more than $1 million in food and supplies to support local food banks, and 2) it pledged $1 million and one million volunteer hours in an effort to support racial equality and unity in its communities and assist areas in need.

Contribution:

The broad communication goal of our two programs was to amplify awareness that 1) these issues are present in Hy-Vee’s communities and the need is real; and 2) that Hy-Vee is deeply committed to being part of the solution through tangible actions. 

This spring, Hy-Vee raised more than $1,082,000 in food and supplies to benefit 17 Feeding America-affiliated food banks across its eight-state region, which support a network of up to 5,500 local food agencies across approximately 515 counties.

From March 23 to May 31, Hy-Vee customers were encouraged to donate $1 or more at checkout or via Hy-Vee Aisles Online. Hy-Vee matched donations dollar for dollar, up to $500,000. Store signage and social media made customers aware of the opportunity. Press releases announcing the campaign and its results were distributed to media outlets throughout Hy-Vee’s eight-state region and were shared on social media platforms. 

Following the tragic death of George Floyd, Hy-Vee publicly announced a commitment to give $1 million and one million volunteer hours to organizations that support racial unity and equality. Volunteer hours toward the effort have already begun to accumulate. Following the damage caused by violence in the Twin Cities, Hy-Vee employees helped support local cleanup efforts and distributed meals, snacks and water to impacted neighborhoods. In Des Moines, Iowa, employees worked with local organizations to help with home repairs and package meals. 

 

Objectives:

  • In a 10-week campaign timeframe, create assets and utilize a variety of communication tools to raise at least $1 million to help supply 17 Feeding America-affiliated food banks throughout Hy-Vee’s eight-state region. 
  • Obtain at least $1 million in news value to promote Hy-Vee’s $1 million donation by the end of 2020 and one million volunteer hours by the end of 2021 to support organizations that are focused on racial unity and equality throughout the eight states where Hy-Vee has a presence.

Impact:

Currently $470,000 has been committed to the following organizations/efforts: Page Education Foundation (Minneapolis) - $120,000; Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (Kansas City) - $50,000; Evelyn K. Davis Center (Des Moines) - $50,000; NAACP (Des Moines) - $50,000; Starts Right Here (Des Moines) - $50,000; and Urban Dreams (Des Moines) - $50,000. 

In June, Hy-Vee leaders realized that the damage to local retailers after violence in Minneapolis had created a “food desert” for many residents in the most impacted neighborhoods. To help, Hy-Vee’s 11 stores in the Twin Cities partnered with customers and suppliers to hold a weeklong “Stuff-A-Truck” campaign that sent 18 semi truckloads of supplies to 10 nonprofits and food banks across the Twin Cities, worth $800,000. Hy-Vee donated $100,000 toward the purchase of food and supplies for the campaign.

To promote these efforts, Hy-Vee has issued news releases and video content to announce initiatives, provide milestone updates along the way, and include information on the partner organizations. They also promoted this initiative on owned digital channels, both the website and social media platforms. Each Hy-Vee location was provided outdoor and indoor signage, as well. For these PR efforts, Hy-Vee saw 130 placements in the month of June alone, equaling $14.1 million in news value and more than 508 million impressions. 

Quote:

“There are times when actions speak volumes and when actions can help to create real, long-lasting change. Hy-Vee was founded on a guiding set of principles we call our 15 fundamentals. Four of those fundamentals – fairness, caring, respect and dignity – deeply pertain to the current situations our country is facing today. All those who call Hy-Vee home – whether it be an employee, customer or supplier – should and will feel welcomed, included and appreciated. Anything less is unacceptable.”

Randy Edeker, chairman of the board, CEO and president of Hy-Vee