GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. As an increasing number of people turn to local food banks to help feed their families this year, supercenter chain Meijer announced Monday that it will provide thousands of free Meijer gift cards directly to families in need through local food pantries.
The new program is in addition to Meijer's Simply Give program, which raises money to help local food pantries re-stock their shelves.
"As unemployment has risen, there are a greater number of people relying on our local food banks," said Hank Meijer, co-chairman and CEO of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. "In addition to helping the food pantries stock their shelves, we also want to help families obtain items that are generally not available at food pantries, such as perishable foods or items for those with special dietary needs."
Each Meijer store will provide 100 free gift cards, each valued at $10, to a local food pantry to distribute to needy families. Each of the 18,900 gift cards donated by the company will be accompanied by a letter from Co-Chairmen Hank and Doug Meijer.
This program comes on the heels of Meijer's successful Simply Give program, where the company partnered with its customers to generate gift cards for food pantries to use to stock their shelves. To date, Meijer and its customers have raised more than $500,000 for local food pantries throughout the Midwest.
Meijer donates more than 6% of its net profit annually to a broad group of charities and organizations throughout the five states where its stores are located. The Simply Give program drills down even deeper by ensuring the benefit is recognized in the very communities where Meijer stores are located.