Local Food Banks Receive 3.7 million meals From Raley’s Food for Families holiday bag drive
West Sacramento, Calif. – For more than 140,000 families in communities surrounding Raley’s stores, this holiday season was a more fulfilling one. This year’s annual Raley’s Food For Families holiday bag drive, which provides wholesome food for northern California and Nevada families, culminated in a donation of 3,759,535 meals, representing a 29% increase over last year.
The Raley’s Food For Families holiday bag drive, in its 31st year, is an initiative that takes place across Raley’s family of stores to help nourish its community. From November 1 through December 31, Raley’s customers were encouraged to donate $10 for a bag of groceries worth almost $30 retail. The result: a historic drive, resulting in 144,597 total bags donated. Altogether, Raley’s customers donated $1,445,970, and Raley’s contributed more than $2.5 million- totaling more than $4 million in food donated!
Each holiday bag was comprised of more than 23 pounds of nourishing and good-for-you foods; enough to feed a family of four 26 meals. Raley’s team members specifically selected nutritious items for the bag that met one or more of the company’s Shelf Guide labels. In fact, 80 percent of the items met Raley’s nutrient-dense and minimally processed attributes. Items in the bag ranged from a gallon of milk and fresh bananas and potatoes to whole grain penne pasta and Raley’s Purely Made organic pasta sauce.
“Year after year, Raley’s goes above and beyond in supporting our families with quality food they can feel good about eating. This season’s donations are no different. And while we’re grateful for help over the holidays, hunger is a problem year-round,” says Dave Martinez, Executive Director of Placer Food Bank. “We thank Raley’s and its customers for being committed to helping our members’ health throughout the entire year.”
All of Raley’s 122 stores that were open at the time of the holiday bag program participated. They each worked with local food bank partners to distribute the bags to those in need in the community. Raley’s Food For Families accepts donations all year to cater to the needs of their nearby food banks.
“I cannot say enough how proud I am of Raley’s customers and team members for providing such tremendous support to the annual bag drive. The results demonstrate the power of teamwork and banding together to donate nourishing and much-needed food to bring health and happiness to our community,” said Becca Whitman, Community Relations Manager for Raley’s & Executive Director for Raley’s Food for Families.
The customers are the real heroes that Raley’s commends for stepping up to help their fellow community members. Raley’s could not have put food on as many tables or fed as many mouths without the support of the community. Over the past few weeks, a few customers have shared their inspiring stories:
- Pauline Litchfield from Yuba City, CA, gathered her entire months’ worth of tips from her job to donate 7 bags to the drive.
- Nob Hill Checker David Watkins donated more than 100 plush teddy bears (purchased by his customers) to children at local organizations like Santa Clara Medical, Kaiser Permanente and Argonaut Elementary School. Raley’s sells the teddy bears for $10 to fundraise for the Food For Families program.
- TaxAudit, a partner of Raley’s Food For Families, had 76 team members participate in a Turkey Trot scavenger hunt to gather and pack 100 bags of food. Through their efforts, they felt they could make an impact in their local community during the holiday season.
- Raley’s combined top ten checkers in this drive raised 321,776 meals for their communities, representing almost 10% of the total meals raised.
Raley’s Food For Families program runs 365 days of the year to cater to those in need. For more information and to learn how to donate, visit www.foodforfamilies.org.