Food Service & Agriculture, Nonprofits, and Retail

Retailer raises $8.5M for food pantries

February 19, 2018
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Meijer produce section
Walker-based Meijer is one of the largest purchasers of fruits and vegetables in the Midwest. Courtesy Meijer

A locally based retailer raised $8.5 million for food pantries last year.

Walker-based Meijer said its Simply Give program raised the funds, the equivalent of about 84.4-million meals, in 2017 to benefit food pantries throughout the Midwest.

"It's inspiring to see friends and neighbors come together to take care of hungry families throughout the communities we serve," said Hank Meijer, executive chairman, Meijer.

Meijer began Simply Give in 2008. The program runs three campaigns each year in the spring, fall and holiday seasons. The holiday season for 2017 brought in $3.1 million, which Meijer said was their best season to date.

During each campaign, customers can buy a $10 Simply Give donation card at checkout. The donation is converted into a Meijer food-only gift card and donated to a local food pantry selected for that campaign.

"Hunger is a local problem, which is why the funds given to Simply Give stay local," said Cathy Cooper, senior director of community partnerships and giving, Meijer. "The Simply Give program gives everyone a chance to work together to ensure no one has to go without food."

Meijer also noted the Simply Give program has collected $37 million since inception.

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