Independent supermarkets and wholesalers across the country are joining NGA and the Retailer Owned Food Distributors & Associates (ROFDA) this year to help end hunger and raise awareness about the problem by participating in the first-ever “Independents Day of Giving.” The campaign is a special opportunity for the independent supermarket industry to do what it does best: give back to the communities they serve.
Throughout the month of June, with a focus on June 21 as the first day of summer, shoppers will be encouraged to add a $1, $3, or $5 donation to their grocery bills. The proceeds will be collected by Making Change and redistributed back into local communities through Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization, which has a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries.
The initiative comes at a time when most food pantries need food. The majority are forced to gear up for leaner summer months, when donations typically drop off from the winter and holiday season. Also, when children who rely on free and reduced-priced meals are on break from school, families facing food insecurity are also forced to find other sources of morning and midday meals for their kids. Worse yet, children disproportionately account for hunger year-round.
A recent study by Feeding America found that one in eight people struggles with hunger in the United States. It increases to one in six among children, or nearly 17.9 percent compared to the nation’s overall food insecurity rate of 13.4 percent. Considering more than 42 million people facing hunger in the nation today, however, it’s clear that hunger is an indiscriminate force that knows no boundaries.
With supermarkets in nearly every community, independent grocers have the unique opportunity to help ensure local food pantries are fully stocked when they’re needed most. The independent supermarket industry has a long history of caring for their communities, and is ready and eager to make sure families in need are not forced to make tough choices between buying food, paying medical bills, or having a place to live.
Find the nearest independent supermarket participating in the campaign with the map below: