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Grocers Unite In The Fight Against Hunger

In a Time of Limited Resources, Innovative Grocers Against Hunger Program Supplies Those In Need With Coveted Fresh Food

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.- November 8, 2010- Grocery stores throughout the Delaware Valley are uniting to fight hunger. With more people living in poverty than ever before, the Grocers Against Hunger (GAH) program makes it possible for Philabundance to get desirable perishable foods into the hands of neighbors who need them most. GAH is an innovative initiative that enables participating grocers to donate food to those in need. A win win situation that saves grocers the cost of clearing out inventory, prevents unnecessary food waste from filling our landfills while feeding neighbors who need it most.

Food banks are receiving less and less donated food product and GAH is Philabundance’s fastest growing channel for donated product. Grocers Against Hunger was established in 2009, and works with grocers to gain access to expensive and difficult to obtain items such as meat, dairy, produce and baked goods. Because of the GAH program, Philabundance was able to collect 1,543,074 lbs of food from participating grocers. That is equivalent to more than 1.5 million meals that were distributed to our neighbors in need in the Delaware Valley.

Because of strict guidelines on grocery stores, they often need to rotate items off of shelves even though they are nutritious and completely safe to eat. Philabundance follows all necessary food safety guidelines, transports product via our fleet of refrigerated trucks and inspects donated product at pick-up and distribution points.

GAH exemplifies green business practices by redistributing food products that would unnecessarily be disposed of. The Environmental Protection Agency uses a food waste recovery hierarchy to help businesses with high volumes of food waste scale down and manage their surplus. The hierarchy suggests that businesses first reduce their food waste through source reduction then feed hungry people by donating extra food to food banks and soup kitchens. Feed animals, industrial use, composting and landfills are final resorts. GAH assists grocers in following through with the EPA suggestions by actively picking up the surplus foods.

“We are thankful to all of our partners for participating in this game-changing program,” stated Bill Clark, President and Executive Director, Philabundance. “Grocers Against Hunger works to reduce unnecessary

food waste and at the same time provides fresh nutritious food to those in need. This is a costly program
due to the labor required to sort and distribute the food.  We would love to bring on more stores, but the program is cost-prohibitive, without the support from partners and funders.”

Each Grocers Against Hunger partner brings a different element to the overall program, creating a diverse group that has the ability to grow. Partners include Acme, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Giant Food Stores, Target, Trader Joe’s, and Bottom Dollar Food.

–    Acme is the founding program partner with 25 participating stores and has donated 790,146 pounds to date, the most food donated to date.
–    Walmart and Sam’s Club have ten participating locations and are the largest donor by volume per month, providing much-needed meats and bakery products. Through their partnership with Feeding America, Walmart will donate an additional refrigerated truck to the Philabundance fleet in support of the program.  In May, the Walmart Foundation announced a $2 billion commitment to hunger relief through 2015.
–    Target is an essential donor of dry grocery and non-food items such as paper products, cleaning supplies and personal care products and has 16 participating stores.
–    Trader Joe’s is a constant donor of nutritious organic foods with three participating stores to this program.  Trader Joe’s donation program was started more than 30 years ago and donates to non for profit charitable organizations like Philabundance in the neighborhoods in which they have stores.
–    Giant Food Stores is a long-time donor to Philabundance, and has joined as a new Grocers Against Hunger partner with six participating stores donating meat, a prized and pricey source of protein.
–    Bottom Dollar Food, our newest retail partner who will eventually include 12 new participating stores has donated $10,000 to help build a satellite pick-up program which involves the agencies picking up food right from the grocers themselves, saving valuable time with perishable goods and reducing handling costs for agencies.

To help support Grocers Against Hunger and other Philabundance programs please visit www.philabundance.org to donate. For more information visit our website or call 215-339-0900.

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About Philabundance
Philabundance is the region’s largest hunger relief organization fighting hunger and malnutrition in the Delaware Valley. Philabundance provides a full plate of services to close to 500 member agencies in 9 counties, who serve approximately 65,000 people per week at an aggregate cost of less than 30 cents per meal. There are more than 900,000 people in the Delaware Valley who are at risk for chronic hunger and malnutrition. In 2009, Philabundance, distributed 17 million pounds of food in the Delaware Valley. For more information about Philabundance, call 215-339-0900 or visit www.philabundance.org.

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