Company : SpartanNash
Program category : Food Insecurity


As a food solutions company dedicated to helping local communities and providing critical support in times of need, SpartanNash dedicated its annual Helping Hands Day volunteer event in June 2024 to focus on providing disaster-stricken families with meals and personal hygiene products. The company rented out the Grand Rapids convention center, DeVos Place, making the initiative the first of its kind as the largest volunteer event for the company, convention center and its nonprofit partner, Convoy of Hope. 

Pulling off the event required solving a complex math problem: What would a family of four need nutritionally to eat for one week? How many food products could fit inside a box large enough to hold all those meals but light enough for volunteers to carry? How many boxes could 700 people pack in one day? How many pallets could fit on one semitruck? 

SpartanNash and Convoy of Hope answered all those questions and more. More than 700 SpartanNash Associates, supplier partners and Convoy of Hope volunteers packed nearly 15,000 meal boxes and 5,000 toiletry kits to help address immediate needs following disasters. Each box will feed a family of four for one week, totaling over 500,000 meals donated and 24 semitrucks loaded. Product donations exceeded $1 million, and SpartanNash also presented Convoy of Hope with a check for $100,000.


In addition to thousands of hours planning Helping Hands Day, which started over a year prior, SpartanNash coordinated and hosted the packing of nearly 15,000 meal boxes and 5,000 toiletry kits with over 700 company Associates participating alongside volunteers from Convoy of Hope. Community participation through donations collected at checkout in SpartanNash stores were also substantial.

Company suppliers also stepped up. In response to the increased frequency, cost and severity of weather-related disasters, partners like Kellanova, Kraft Heinz, Sun-Maid, Hormel Foods, Hometown Foods, Winland Foods, Idahoan Foods, Unilever, Henkel, StarKist Company, WK Kellogg Co., Musselman’s and more used their resources to support communities during crises. All donations will be distributed by Convoy of Hope to families affected by natural disasters.

This collective effort demonstrated the strength of the partnership between SpartanNash, its suppliers and the community in effectively addressing urgent needs arising from disasters.


Events like this are particularly important in a time when the need for disaster relief is statistically high. Over the last few years, there has been an even greater need for disaster relief with an increase in disaster frequency, severity, and cost. From January 2020 to December 2022, 60 climate-related disasters caused 1,460 fatalities and 2,939 injuries. These disasters have all cost at least $1 billion each, marking a significant increase in costly climate-related disasters from decades prior (source: FEMA). The primary objectives of SpartanNash’s Helping Hands Day 2024 were to address these urgent food insecurity and hygiene needs among families affected by disasters, and to foster community connection and strength through active participation and engagement. 

More granular goals included assembling and distributing essential supplies to provide over 500,000 meals to disaster-stricken families, mobilizing corporate and community resources, educating and involving the community, and driving ongoing impact.


SpartanNash’s Helping Hands Day 2024 was a significant success, as measured by its direct impact on addressing food insecurity and enhancing community engagement. Key metrics include:

  • Scale of distribution: Nearly 15,000 meal boxes and 5,000 toiletry kits were packed and distributed, which equated to over 500,000 meals provided to families in need. 24 semitrucks were loaded with supplies destined for distribution by Convoy of Hope.

  • Volunteer engagement: Over 700 SpartanNash associates and numerous volunteers from supplier partners and Convoy of Hope participated in the initiative, showcasing strong internal and external collaboration. 

  • Community impact: The initiative generated significant community goodwill and raised public awareness about the issues of disaster recovery and food insecurity. Additionally, positive feedback from participants and beneficiaries spotlighted the program’s effectiveness in meeting immediate community needs.

  • Financial contributions: Product donations exceeded $1 million, with an additional $100,000 cash donation to Convoy of Hope, pointing to SpartanNash’s commitment to supporting disaster relief efforts both financially and logistically.

  • Sustainability and future commitments: The event’s success laid a solid foundation for future Helping Hands Days, and there are plans underway to continue and expand this initiative, ensuring lasting support for communities facing disasters.

  • Earned Media Results: +438M earned impressions and 8 news stories (including local and national coverage).

These results demonstrate SpartanNash’s ability to mobilize resources, enhance community resilience, and provide substantial aid to families affected by disasters.


"This year, we decided to focus our efforts for Helping Hands Day on the growing number of people affected by natural disasters, and we're so glad that 700 of our Grand Rapids Associates joined in to drive a huge impact," said SpartanNash CEO Tony Sarsam. "As a People First food solutions company, providing quality nutrition to families in the midst of a devastating disaster is very closely aligned with our mission to deliver the ingredients for a better life. Millions of lives are turned upside down by natural disasters each year, and I'm so proud of our Associates for coming together to serve and give hope to people in need during these trying times.”

Support Statement:

"SpartanNash is not only a partner that we can count on when disasters hit, but they are also a partner that helps us prepare even before communities are in need," said Convoy of Hope Vice President of Public Engagement Ethan Forhetz. "We're grateful for SpartanNash's ongoing commitment to providing families around the country-and even around the world- with essential supplies."