Meijer plans to conduct back-to-back fall and holiday campaigns to ensure the maximum amount of support for food pantries trying to keep up with increased demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"We recognize the strain the global pandemic is putting on our communities, and we see it reflected in the difficulties our food pantry partners face as they work to keep their shelves stocked," Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said. "By extending our Simply Give campaigns to run the remainder of the year, we are making it easier for our customers to support their neighbors in need and increasing our commitment to ending hunger across our footprint."
Each Meijer Simply Give campaign replenishes the shelves of more than 250 food pantries in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The program encourages customers to purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards, which are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to a local food pantry in the store's community. Each new campaign gives Meijer stores the opportunity to partner with a different local pantry to best serve their community.
The fall Simply Give campaign will run for nine weeks starting Sunday, Aug. 23 and ending Saturday, Oct. 24 – a four-week extension over previous fall campaigns. The holiday campaign will start immediately following the end of the fall campaign and run for the remainder of the year to continue to provide relief to local food pantries throughout the holiday season.
The fall campaign will feature two "double-match days" – Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12. On those days, Meijer will double-match every $10 donation card that a customer purchases, so that an additional $20 is added to the donation, tripling the impact of each customer's generosity.
"Food pantries continue to struggle as they manage the flood of requests they receive daily, especially given the difficult circumstances many families now face amidst the global pandemic," said Cathy Cooper, senior director of community partnerships and giving for Meijer. "Simply Give is a way for Meijer customers to partner with us and support the food banks and pantries that feed families in need in their own communities. We certainly couldn't do it without the support and commitment of our generous customers and team members, who stand beside us in this effort."
Meijer has already donated more than $3 million to its food pantry partners this year, making donations to them in spring as COVID-19 began to take a toll on their supply, and again in June in lieu of the canceled Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give event. Since the Simply Give program began in November 2008, more than $57 million has been generated for food pantries in the Midwest to distribute to neighbors in need across the retailer's six- state footprint.