The Giant Company said Friday it is donating a total of $250,000 to four local hunger relief organizations including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Philabundance, Maryland Food Bank and Meals on Wheels Pennsylvania to help feed a growing number of families and seniors who are facing hunger as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“While our nonprofit partners are doing an amazing job at serving the community as usual in these challenging times, they are facing unique pressure due to lost wages forcing more families to ask for help and social distancing causing some heartbreaking cases of isolation,” said Nicholas Bertram, president, The Giant Company. “The Giant Company’s purpose is to connect families for a better future, which is why we are acting with urgency and providing them with funds now so they can continue to support our most vulnerable neighbors. Working together, we can truly make a difference and it’s our hope that anyone who can does join us in providing relief to these life-sustaining organizations.”
According to a Giant news release, each food bank along with Meals on Wheels Pennsylvania is building and shipping thousands of prepackaged boxes of healthy shelf stable food, bags of produce, dairy and frozen meals for distribution to its partner agencies and clients. To minimize the risk of disease transmission, these organizations have also terminated food drives at this time, which is adding to the financial burden.
“Each organization will use the funds to help address immediate needs including offsetting operational expenses, securing food and ensuring critical food delivery to those in need throughout local communities, especially seniors and kids,” the release said.
“We are so thankful to The Giant Company for stepping up quickly to help support our massive COVID-19 Crisis Response,” said Joe Arthur, executive director of Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. “Our food bank is expending significant additional money to build and supply thousands of pre-packed healthy food boxes each day to our partner agencies as they safely serve families in need using modified procedures. We also continue to provide fresh produce, milk, eggs, dairy, and frozen foods, also using modified safe practices. Given the scale of this crisis, we are hopeful other organizations and donors will follow Giant’s lead.”
“Philabundance serves 90,000 people a week at risk of hunger across the Delaware Valley,” explained Philabundance executive director Glenn Bergman. “With school closures, suspended work operations and limited access to food due to COVID-19, that number will steadily increase. Thanks to Giant’s generous donation, we will be able to provide our neighbors in need with the food they need during this difficult time.”
Customers looking to join Giant and support hunger relief efforts can now choose to round up their purchase at self-checkout to the nearest dollar, with funds benefiting regional food banks.
The company said it will continue to look for other ways to provide support to its nonprofit partners.
Locally, Giant has stores in Hellertown, Coopersburg, Bethlehem, Easton and beyond.