CARLISLE, Pa. – The GIANT Co. announced on Tuesday the return of its Feeding School Kids initiative. From now through Feb. 28, customers at GIANT, MARTIN’S and GIANT Heirloom Market stores are invited to round up their grocery purchases to their nearest dollar or convert their CHOICE points into a donation for their local public schools’ food programs.
Launched last year to address the issue of childhood hunger throughout local public school districts in the communities it serves, The GIANT Co. together with its customers raised more than $3.3 million in 2021.
“School food programs are critical to fighting food insecurity and ensuring children receive regular, nutritious meals,” said Jessica Groves, community impact manager, The GIANT Co. “Thanks to the generous support of our customers, we are proud to bring back our Feeding School Kids initiative in support of our local schools and their hunger relief efforts. Together, we are directly impacting local school food programs from something as simple as paying off student lunch debt to providing free breakfast and lunch to all students.”
This year, The GIANT Co. will donate $250,000 to the program. Through the Feeding School Kids initiative, school districts have been able to use the funds to support meal programs such as covering outstanding student meal debt, expanding food distribution programs, creating on-campus food pantries, and supplying extra weekend meals. For example, the Waynesboro School District was able to serve more than 14,000 breakfasts and lunches for students throughout the summer; the School District of Philadelphia expanded its emergency feeding efforts to continue to meet the needs of children and families; Upper Merion School District provided 4,500 students with fresh, locally grown fruit at least 15 times this school year; and the School District of Lancaster scaled up its community garden initiative by implementing additional programming and having more students and families receive fresh produce.
“This past summer, we used the funds to enhance the quality of our free meal kits and purchased local produce from Carroll County farmers,” said Karen Sarno, supervisor of food services, Carroll County Public Schools. “Between 1,300 and 1,500 children received these free weekly meal kits through our summer food service program. Thanks to The GIANT Co., children and families were able to receive peaches, apples, sweet corn, peppers, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, and potatoes – all grown in Carroll County.”