Winn-Dixie Stores Inc is joining forces with Feeding America to launch the Give a Meal program, which provides both customers and staff with an opportunity to help provide food to nearly 37 million Americans—including more than 14 million children—facing hunger this holiday season. Give a Meal runs through Jan. 3 and is available in all of Winn-Dixie’s 482 stores in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Every $1 donated during the campaign helps provide eight meals to people in need.
“With one in six American’s facing hunger every day, there is no business more aligned to help with this cause than Winn-Dixie,” said Mary Kellmanson, Winn-Dixie's group vice president of marketing. “Teaming with our guests and team members, along with Feeding America, we are eager to make a difference and ease some of the pain caused by hunger in our communities.”
There three simple ways in which individuals can support Give a Meal:
Donate at the register while purchasing groceries;
Donate online at www.winn-dixie.com/giveameal by charging a donation to a credit card;
Purchase Winn-Dixie brand products — through vendor support, when a guest or team member purchases a designated Winn-Dixie brand product, a portion of the purchase will be donated to Feeding America.
In addition, some stores will offer prepackaged nonperishables in $5 and $10 increments that can be donated to the regional food bank immediately after purchase at marked collection barrels near the store exit.
“The holidays are a perfect time to give a gift that can make a difference in someone’s life,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. “With Give a Meal, even a small donation will go a long way in helping make sure that people have something to eat this holiday season.”
The issue of hunger is especially critical during the holiday season, when the need is especially acute. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that for the third consecutive year, one in six Americans lives in a household that is food insecure. Among the nearly 49 million Americans facing hunger, more than 16 million are children—or 1 in 5—who are at risk of hunger in the United States.
Along with Winn-Dixie, a number of corporate partners, including Bank of America, Dillard’s, HMSHost and Honey Baked Ham, have joined the effort with Feeding America to fight hunger this holiday season and support the Give a Meal campaign.
In addition to corporate sponsors across the country, the campaign also is being backed by celebrities, such as Rachael Ray, members of OneRepublic, Curtis Stone, Benji and Joel Madden, Samantha Harris, and Katie Lee. A running counter will be displayed on the Feeding America Web site
to tally the number of meals that have been donated during the campaign.
“Fighting hunger requires a strong partnership between charities, businesses and individuals alike,” Escarra said. “Hunger is simply one battle we cannot afford to lose.”