Generosity marks 90th anniversary of Giant Food in Montgomery County

News Source: The Times Herald

UPPER MERION — The idea of selling dry goods and perishable foods all under one roof was a somewhat risky entrepreneurial notion during the Great Depression.

But from David Javitch’s concept — which actually began as a two-man butcher shop in 1923 — came the Giant Food Stores grocery chain that, together with the Martin’s Food Markets brand, boasts nearly 200 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

To celebrate its milestone 90th anniversary, the Carlisle-based company made good on its 90 Days of Giving program by donating to local food banks and supporting communities with a wide variety of volunteer efforts.

Philabundance, the Philadelphia area’s largest hunger relief organization, was the beneficiary of a $9,000 check, said Giant spokesman Christopher Brand.

“We celebrated the anniversary by thanking our charitable partners, in particular the food banks because they do so much for the communities in which we operate,” Brand said. “One of the ways we did that was to make nine donations to nine food banks.”

The Philabundance donation coincided with the grand opening of the Giant store in Flourtown, Springfield Township, a renovation and expansion of a Genuardi’s market on Bethlehem Pike purchased from Safeway Inc.

“Our 90 Days of Giving really extended beyond 90 days, where stores engaged with the community, cleaned parks and helped out at community events,” Brand explained. “We really wanted it to be a spontaneous type of thing, so we told each store to see what they could do organically. They all know what’s happening in their own neighborhoods, so we told them try to get out in the neighborhood and do something for some of the folks who are less fortunate.”

Since 2005, Giant Food Stores has donated more than $150 million in combined cash and product donations throughout the chain.

“Philabundance truly values Giant’s commitment to fight hunger and the longstanding partnership with us, which has resulted in $603,624 over the past five years,” said Bill Clark, executive director of Philabundance. “This donation of $9,000 will provide 18,000 meals for those families in need in the Delaware Valley and we can’t thank Giant enough for all they do in the fight against hunger.”

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