CHICAGO, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — BJ’s Wholesale Club announced today that their 25th Anniversary Food-Donation Challenge, held from October 23rd to November 15th, collected an estimated 25 tons of grocery products from the communities in which it has clubs. The collected items will be donated to 45 food bank members of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization. In turn, BJ’s Charitable Foundation will donate the financial equivalent of one million meals to the food bank partners.
The donations will be distributed by Feeding America’s food banks to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency feeding programs to help provide much-needed assistance to those who live at risk of hunger.
The collected food and donation of one million meals comes at a much-needed time. The USDA’s Economic Research Service released a new report on November 16th that showed an astonishing spike in the numbers of Americans living at risk of hunger. The report stated that 49.1 million Americans were living in food insecure households in 2008, an increase of more than 36 percent over 2007.
“We are honored to be working to fight hunger in our local communities,” said Jessica Newman, BJ’s Manager of Community Relations. “In light of the new USDA hunger statistics, we are proud to kick off the holiday season by giving back through Feeding America during these financially troubled times.”
To mark the conclusion of the 25-Ton Challenge, today BJ’s Team Members, Orlando-area dignitaries and representatives from Feeding America’s Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida will create a “chain of giving” and unload a trailer filled with collected food at 10 a.m. EST, 2008 Brengle Avenue in Orlando.
“We have been distributing food at literally ‘disaster level’ quantities,” said Dave Krepcho, executive director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “We are seeing record numbers of people showing up at the food pantries and soup kitchens we serve. We are seeing many faces for the first time – people who not so long ago had good jobs and two cars in the garage and are now struggling to feed their families. We are enormously grateful to BJ’s Wholesale Club for their efforts to help us in our battle to feed so many people who need so much help.”
Feeding America provides more than 2.6 billion pounds of food annually through a network of 205 food banks that serve 63,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency feeding centers.
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 25 million Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 63,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. Feeding America is headquartered in Chicago.
Source: BJ’s Wholesale Club