Wakefern was always aware of the pervasive problem of hunger experienced by so many people in neighborhoods served by ShopRite stores, and for many years the company contributed time, products, financial support, and technical expertise to area food banks. In 1999, when a sales manager for Wakefern Food Corp. and a representative from General Mills decided to forgo “business as usual” and partner on a consumer promotion, ShopRite Partners In Caring was born. In its very first year, this new corporate responsibility program donated $1 million to 500 qualified hunger-fighting organizations and the need for ShopRite Partners In Caring (SRPIC) was clear. Sixteen years later, ShopRite Partners In Caring has become a force in the fight against hunger and has donated more than $39 million to local food banks in our trading area.
Through the ShopRite Partners In Caring program, $3 million is donated each year to local Feeding America Food Banks. Additionally, an annual holiday donation of 60 tons of turkeys enables those less fortunate to sit down to Thanksgiving meals. Millions of pounds of product are also donated each year from our warehouse facilities to local food banks. And many of our ShopRite stores are engaged in food gleaning/recovery programs that provide fresh produce and other perishables to local pantries. Through contests, store-based fundraisers, and hundreds of events each year, SRPIC also raises awareness about hunger in the communities where our ShopRite stores operate.
“To provide funds to worthy hunger-fighting charities while engaging the community in the fight against hunger” – the Mission of ShopRite Partners in Caring. SRPIC carries out this mission through its objectives: • Demonstrating the company’s commitment to community • Encouraging associate and consumer engagement in the fight against hunger • Leveraging the company’s products and vendor relationships to benefit those in need • Tapping the company’s expertise in retail, food service and logistics to help food banks become more efficient
ShopRite Partners In Caring has developed a network of partners who provide hope and stability to the food banks that rely on SRPIC. What makes the program work is the ease of access to food for local pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. In total, 1,700 charities benefit from that streamlined process and are able to provide wholesome meals and nutritious food to those in need. Our vendors, associates and customers are also impacted by the success of SRPIC. Our vendor partners have received sales benefits by aligning their product lines with an organization that stands for alleviating hunger locally. And our dedicated associates are engaged in caring for those in the community who might otherwise go without. That engagement is highlighted during September, National Hunger Action Month, and during “Help Bag Hunger” fund-raising events in stores. Help Bag Hunger brings together local leaders including senators, mayors, council representatives, police and firefighters who bag groceries in ShopRite stores, meet customers and raise awareness around the issue of hunger. Governors in ShopRite’s six state trading areas have issued proclamations declaring the annual September Help Bag Hunger date “ShopRite Partners In Caring Day.” In March, associates from ShopRite’s top fund-raising stores appear on special edition Cheerios boxes as part of the ShopRite Partners In Caring Cheerios Contest. According to Feeding America, $1 provides 11 meals. With our $3 million annual donation, that equates to approximately 33 million meals for the hungry! ShopRite Partners In Caring is truly a partnership of caring individuals -- from both non-profit and for-profit organizations – who unite for the good of the community.
“Fighting hunger isn’t just something we do; it’s something we are passionate about. ShopRite Partners In Caring is our signature hunger-fighting initiative and it’s doing good, essential work in the communities served by our ShopRite stores,” said Wakefern President and COO Joe Sheridan.
“ShopRite is one of our ‘full service’ donors because they support so many different aspects of our work,” Maryland Food Bank President & CEO Deborah Flateman said recently. “From donating funds and product to helping move food in our warehouse with a newly donated forklift, to supporting our partner distribution program and our school pantries, ShopRite Partners in Caring is an instrumental part of our entire operation.”