Meijer’s program matches a $10 gift from any patron with an additional $10, then gives it back to the SCCS food pantry for food purchases only. That includes fresh meat and other consumables that are much needed by area families. Double match days begin on Thursday, September 1 and go through Saturday, September 3. For every $10 donation by an individual, Meijer will match it with $20.
South County residents have been active participants in this unique support for the SCCS food pantry, according to Executive Director Danna Downing. In 2015, the agency received over $13,000 from the Simply Give campaign. Emergency Assistance Coordinator for SCCS, Drew Johnson, reports that he and the pantry team are hoping to do even better this year. “With the flexibility of the Meijer money we can better insure that our shoppers will leave with a well-balanced and nutritious meal that they are proud to serve their families.”
SCCS uses this money to provide a half pound of fresh meat for each family member served by the pantry. The money is also used to supplement areas of the pantry where there are food category gaps not covered by orders from Loaves & Fishes or private donation, Downing said. The pantry provides four days of food to over 700 individuals each quarter of the year. In addition, local organizations make it possible to also distribute household supplies not covered by Bridge cards to pantry visitors once each quarter. The agency’s birthday bags are also a big hit, but are covered completely by generous gifts from community members.
“You would be amazed at the number of working and fixed-income families who must choose between food and meeting other basic expenses each month,” Downing commented. “We could not possibly meet these needs without the support of community members, Loaves & Fishes, and business partners such as Meijer. I wish everyone could see the ways in which this service helps our families,” she adds.
Simply Give cards are available by calling SCCS at 269-649-2901 or at the Shaver Road Meijer location.