Roxborough Resident Lands On Cheerios Box
By Sam Fran Scavuzzo
If you eat Cheerios, you can begin your breakfast with Roxborough resident Gayle Boag smiling back at you, fighting local hunger.
“I never expected this. No, it’s certainly a first to be on a cereal box,” she said.
Boag, who works at the Snyder Plaza ShopRite in South Philadelphia, appears on a limited edition Cheerios box due to her and her co-workers’ efforts to raise money for the hungry.
At 240 stores in six states, ShopRite associates, through their Partners in Caring contest with General Mills, worked to raise $1 million during National Hunger Awareness Month last September.
Two employees from 45 stores got prime placement on a commemorative cereal box, and Boag’s co-workers selected her and Theresa Smith to represent their South Philly store, which raised $10,380.98.
“We challenged all of our associates in all of our stores to create wonderful displays to raise awareness about hunger and also to raise money for the program,” said Orien Reid, a former CBS and NBC reporter and current spokesperson for Wakefern, ShopRite’s parent company.
Reid said Boag and Smith helped organize “Help Bag Hunger Day,” which featured local dignitaries bagging groceries and encourage shoppers to buy $1 donation cards.
On Friday, ShopRite and General Mills honored the associates and held a press conference on local hunger issues. Representatives from Philabundance and My Brothers’ House, which was a recipient of a $500 donation, discussed issues the city faced.
“The need is growing, and it’s just not people who are not working,” Philabundance spokesperson Marlo Del Sordo said. “We see that there are more and more people (in need) who work everyday… They don’t want to share with their neighbor they don’t have enough on their table.”
The citywide group that fights hunger, Philabundance, guided the ShopRite money to My Brothers’ House. A part of the Bethesda Project, which serves many of the city’s poor, My Brothers’ House works with 20 chronically homeless men, ensuring they receive three, nutritious meals daily.
“Organizations such as My Brothers’ House, Bethesda Project, Philabundance, they really do a great job of making sure that affordable food is getting to the right people. I’m continually encouraged by companies like ShopRite who want to give back, especially here in South Philly,” said Geoff Ng, from the recipient group.
Boag has worked at the store for 11 years (and longer for ShopRite). Her co-workers chose her and Smith to represent the shop on the box for their volunteer coordination. She said she enjoyed planning the events.
“Theresa did the cards, but I liked working on events. We had bar-be-ques outside, Alex’s Lemonade, and—because of my show business experience, I get to stand out there,” she said.