Company : Hy-Vee, Inc.
Program category : Food Insecurity


As inflation increased and federal SNAP benefits came to an end in 2023, food banks across the nation saw increased demand. Observing this need within its own communities, Hy-Vee took action with a bold goal: to provide 100 million meals to feed people in need. To maximize the dollars generated, Hy-Vee developed a partnership with Feeding America. Every $1 donated helps to secure and distribute at least 10 meals through Feeding America’s network of partner food banks. Fighting hunger has been a focus for Hy-Vee since it was founded more than 90 years ago, and as a grocer, Hy-Vee is uniquely positioned to help support this cause. Hy-Vee’s 100 Million Meals Challenge is the company’s boldest hunger-fighting commitment yet and unites customers, employees and suppliers around the cause, reinforcing Hy-Vee’s community purpose. In conjunction with the 100 Million Meals Challenge, Hy-Vee kicked off the 2024 summer by partnering with KCCI 8 News to launch Pack the Pantry, an initiative to help restock local food pantries across Central Iowa – which is home to Hy-Vee’s headquarters. Pack the Pantry was intentionally introduced at the start of the summer during a time when pantries traditionally see a rise in visits as the school year ends. According to the Food Bank of Iowa, 344,550 people in Iowa – including 110,500 children – face food insecurity daily. Many of those individuals are new to seeking assistance.


The 100 Million Meals Challenge stands front and center across Hy-Vee and its stores. Together with Feeding America, it transformed a traditional in-store register roundup into a multi-pronged cause marketing campaign that united customers, employees, INDYCAR race fans, influencers like basketball star Caitlin Clark ,and suppliers across the nation around one cause: fighting hunger. Donations came through in-store register roundups; online donations; supplier donations; in-kind donations; and food rescue. Promotional efforts included in-store signage, print/digital ads, an online landing page, national TV spots, social media and activations at Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend – in 2023 and again this summer. During Pack the Pantry, held May 21-27, customers and employees dropped off non-perishable food items at their local Hy-Vee store, which had designated drop-off trailers and/or bins. Customers could purchase items to donate during their Hy-Vee grocery visit or bring items from their home or other grocers to donate toward the cause.


The goal of the 100 Million Meals Challenge is fourfold:
• Fight hunger in Hy-Vee communities by providing 100 million meals through monetary and food donations
• Unite and engage Hy-Vee’s customers, employees and supplier partners around the cause
• Make everyone feel a part of the initiative and make it easy to support the campaign through various avenues and levels of investment
• Deepen Hy-Vee’s existing relationships with local food banks

Customers were also able to see that they were making a direct impact in their communities through Pack the Pantry, with all donations benefiting the food pantries nearest to their local Hy-Vee store. In addition to collecting items for local food pantries, Pack the Pantry aimed to increase awareness about the most-needed food pantry staples. In stores, Hy-Vee employees and food pantry volunteers greeted customers and distributed flyers that shared a list of those high-demand items.


As of June, 75 million meals have been funded through the 100 Million Meals Challenge – with more on the way. So far, meals donated have benefited 1,000+ food agencies and helped millions who are food insecure. Locally, 314 Hy-Vee stores have held in-store register roundups, and online donations have originated from 42 states. Pack the Pantry furthered the cause as Hy-Vee delivered 32,580 pounds of donated food. Donations from 31 Hy-Vee stores helped support 56 food pantries across Central Iowa within only a week. Customers were also encouraged to round up their purchases at the register as part of the 100 Million Meals Challenge. In all, Hy-Vee and KCCI raised more than 347,000 meals through Pack the Pantry. Both campaigns have been featured in 1,600+ articles and earned $12 million in news value as they raised awareness about food insecurity: Watch More

Hy-Vee positively influenced its brand perception within communities and strengthened its supplier partnerships. Donations were secured from 200+ brands, and Hy-Vee received national and industry recognitions:
• 2024 Best Brands for Social Impact, Forbes
• 2023 Retailer of the Year, Supermarket News
• 2023 Impact Award, Progressive Grocer
• 2023 Feeding America Leadership Partner

This year, the 100 Million Meals Challenge was also recognized by Engage for Good’s Halo Awards. In addition to winning gold among consumer donation initiatives, the campaign was also honored as the Best of the Best among all other national initiatives. Halo Awards honor outstanding corporate social impact initiatives nationwide, as well as the partnerships between businesses and nonprofits.


“Being helpful is at the core of everything Hy-Vee does. We don’t want anyone to go hungry — ever. Because we are in the food business, we feel a tremendous responsibility to make sure everyone is fed, including those who will never walk through our doors, never shop our stores, or even know what a Hy-Vee is. Our commitment to feeding people pushed us to set a goal to provide 100 million meals and to fill up the food banks across our communities. We are well on our way toward reaching that goal.” - Jeremy Gosch, CEO of Hy-Vee

Support Statement:

“Hunger is not easing, and in fact, is increasing in many communities both in the Midwest and across the country. Hy-Vee’s 100 Million Meals Challenge is essential for our organization to meet our goal and fulfill our mission. Hy-Vee’s bold and strategic leadership alongside its commitment to communities makes an impact. Their leadership has made Iowa, and the Midwest, a better place to live and work hunger free.” - Casey Marsh, chief development officer for Feeding America

“The 100 Million Meals Challenge is a testament to Hy-Vee’s compassion for and support of those who face food insecurity – then they doubled down by launching the Pack the Pantry campaign alongside KCCI Channel 8. Through their innovative campaigns and trusted partnerships, Hy-Vee is making a tangible difference in the lives of Iowans and folks outside our state.” - Michelle Book, president and CEO of Food Bank of Iowa