Taking further steps to becoming a more full-service grocer, Dollar General announced it will be upping its produce offering to 10,000 stores from the 1,300 carrying produce now. The transition will take place over the next several years.
The produce move joins its continuing growth around the DG Fresh offerings, fresh and frozen foods including private brands, and the company has been rebranding own brands since last year, including Clover Valley, its highest-selling private label that earned more than $1 billion in sales in 2019. Additionally, the company launched the Good & Smart private brand to offer healthier options to shoppers.
Dollar General has been actively adding freezer and cooler space in new and remodeled stores over the last few years in preparation of a fresh food and exclusive food expansion for its shoppers.
The fresh produce news came as part of Dollar General’s announcement that it has forged a new partnership with Feeding America that includes a $1 million donation to the group to provide access to food resources in rural and underserved communities across the country.
“Food insecurity impacts communities across the country, and given that Feeding America projects that 42 million people may face hunger as a result of the pandemic, we want to be part of the solution for those facing this issue,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO. “With our extensive store footprint, often in communities others have chosen not to serve, Dollar General is uniquely positioned to help combat hunger by offering convenient access to a variety of nutritious foods at affordable prices.”
Vasos added that Dollar General looks forward to making a measurable impact in the fight against food insecurity and at full capacity will provide up to 20 million meals a year.
“Each year, billons of pounds of food go to waste, while millions of Americans face hunger. Feeding America is grateful to Dollar General for ensuring that good, wholesome unsold food gets to people who need it most. We are also grateful for their generous donation of $1 million, which will help provide meals to children and families in rural communities,” said Claire Babineauz-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America.
Dollar General and Feeding America initially began testing food donations in summer 2020 in several Indianapolis and Atlanta-area stores, and Dollar General recently expanded its donation footprint to its DG Fresh cold storage facilities. In 2020, Dollar General’s donations provided more than two million meals to those in need.
In addition to weekly collections, the partnership will provide opportunities for Feeding America and local food banks to collect food items during times of crisis. For example, when Hurricane Zeta impacted an Atlanta-area Dollar General store in October 2020, Feeding America and its partners at the Atlanta Community Food Bank quickly collected food items and distributed them within the community.