Independents Spend First Half of 2021 Giving Back

June 29, 2021

By Eric Payne, NGA Manager of Communications

Over the last year, independent grocers have served their communities tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with increased demand for products while keeping customers and employees safe. This is nothing new, as local, family-owned, independent grocers are known for their strong connection to the community.  

They are also known for their generosity, whether it’s through food drivers, round up at the register campaigns, or outreach to community organizations – NGA members are always coming up with innovative ways to give back. This hasn’t changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with community service remaining a large part of their mission. Here are a few examples of community service over the last few months. Strack and Van Til Raises Funds for Meals on Wheels 

Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana needed emergency funding to meet increased demand from seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help raise funds to deal with this increase, Strack and Van Til started a round up at the register campaign so customers could help seniors in the area.  

Sandra Noe, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels Northwest Indiana, said the following about the campaign:  

“Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana is grateful to be selected by Strack & Van Til for the Round Up campaign. Rounding up gives people the chance to come together to meet the surge in need for meal delivery and helps keep our commitment to serving seniors and others who need nutrition.” 

Click here to learn more from 

ShopRite and General Mills Celebrate Earth Month by Visiting America’s Grow-a-Row 

Representatives from ShopRite and General Mills visited America’s Grow-a-Row, a nonprofit based in Pittstown, New Jersey that donates 2 million pounds of farm fresh produce a year to food banks in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the Mid-Atlantic Region. During the visit they helped support the expansion of beehives and the creation pollinator garden.  

During the visit, General Mills presented a $5,000 check to the organization with the funds supporting the garden, which will increase crop yields. Click here to learn more from ShopRite’s Facebook page. 

The Shelby Report: Big Y Donates 2.4 Million Meals to Local Food Banks 

Big Y’s Sack Hunger campaign provides customers with the chance to make a $5 donation with proceeds going to soup kitchens, food pantries, senior food programs, and children’s programs.  

During the winter, Big Y customers and employees contributed $300,000 and Big Y matched this, bringing the total to $600,000 (24 million meals).  

Charles L. D’Amour, Big Y president and CEO, said the following about the donation:  

“We appreciate the generosity of our customers and employees in helping us to support our friends and neighbors in need. And, we are grateful to our partnerships with our five area food banks for their heroic efforts in serving those most vulnerable in our communities. Being able to provide another 2.4 million meals through our Sack Hunger program helps us to fulfill our mission to feed families.” 

Sendik’s Raises $116,000 for Sojourner Family Peace Center 

With the help of their customers and associates, Sendik’s recently made a $116,000 contribution to the Sojourner Family Peace Center, the largest nonprofit provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services in Wisconsin.

Click here to learn more from the Sendik’s Facebook page.  

Yahoo Finance: Unilever Supports Vaccinations by Offering Sweet Treats During their Second Annual Day of Service 

Unilever recently chose select vaccination sites across the country to deliver summer treats to newly vaccinated people, vaccine site workers, and volunteers. The goal of the Day of Service is to help the hardest hit communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unilever and over 170 corporate partners volunteered time with the national and local organizations to give back. This effort at vaccination sites was just a small part of the massive overall effort, which you can learn more about here 

Russel Lilly, Vice President, U.S. Ice Cream at Unilever, said the following about the vaccination site effort:  

“There is still work to be done for pandemic recovery and addressing vaccine hesitancy is one piece of that. Getting vaccinated is a personal milestone for many that calls for a sweet celebration and we couldn’t think of a better way to do that than with ice cream.”  

Click here to learn more from Yahoo Finance. 

WCYB5: Food City Partners with Richard Petty and Paralyzed Veterans of America 

Food City and NASCAR legend Richard Petty recently held an event where they presented a check for $135,000 to Paralyzed Veterans of America – this money will go directly to help provide programs and services supporting America’s veterans who have spinal cord injuries, disorders, and diseases.

Click here to learn more from WCYB 5.