Source: North Jersey.com
For many low-income families across the country, the spring and summer months also bring rising food insecurity, or unreliable access to food. According to recent statistics from Feeding America, one million people in the state will face hunger and, of them, almost 300,000 are young people. During the school year, these children are often provided access to food through national school lunch programs, which offer free or reduced-price meals across the country.
During spring and summer however, only a portion of these children receive the same free or reduced-price meals, creating a gap of almost 1 in 6 children who will not receive regular meals. Unfortunately, food insecurity is generally only highly visible throughout the winter and holiday season, when more organizations hold “food drives,” and families and individuals are most likely to factor charitable giving into their plans. ACME Markets hopes to change this.
“What most people tend to forget is that hunger doesn’t just exist during the holiday season, it exists at all times,” said Dana Ward, senior communications coordinator at ACME. Food banks have a need for much of their food donations during the spring and summer months, precisely because the demand is great and the awareness is low. Food banks receive so many donations during the winter that, when the need arises in summer, they may struggle to meet ongoing needs.
As one of the leading grocery retailers in North America, ACME’s support of hunger relief programs is an organic fit. Through May 3, in all of its 175 stores, ACME is hosting the annual Kicking Hunger campaign, welcoming shoppers at local ACME stores to purchase $10 bags of food, which will then be donated to local and regional food banks within New Jersey and other communities the retailer serves. Donation bags are filled with healthy foods that food banks are most in need of, items which are high in proteins and staples that don’t commonly appear in donation drives.
For those customers who would prefer to make monetary donations, they can do so at ACME’s check-outs in any value, large or small. Last year’s campaign raised a whopping 168,580 pounds of healthy foods and an additional $32,229 in donations that were distributed to local food bank partners throughout ACME’s six-state footprint.
ACME conducts other hunger-related campaigns throughout the year. The Hunger Is program is designed primarily to provide nutritious breakfasts for children, and is conducted in partnership with the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
Last year’s campaign raised a whopping 168,580 pounds of healthy foods and an additional $32,229 in donations.