NEW JERSEY DONATIONS MAY FORTIFY OLYMPIC EFFORT

RICHARD TURCSIK TRENTON, N.J. -- A New Jersey supermarket promotion that let shoppers make a donation at the checkout counter to support the U.S. Olympic Committee may serve as the model for a national prototype, according to one of its sponsors.ponsored by Nabisco and Shadow Broadcast Services, the program, "Support Your Olympic Athletes," was modeled after the Check-Out Hunger In New Jersey program

RICHARD TURCSIK TRENTON, N.J. -- A New Jersey supermarket promotion that let shoppers make a donation at the checkout counter to support the U.S. Olympic Committee may serve as the model for a national prototype, according to one of its sponsors.

ponsored by Nabisco and Shadow Broadcast Services, the program, "Support Your Olympic Athletes," was modeled after the Check-Out Hunger In New Jersey program and was implemented in over 300 stores.

In the three-week program, which ran July 21 to Aug. 12, posters containing $1, $2 and $5 tear-off donation coupons were displayed at cash registers. Shoppers simply handed a coupon to the cashier with their order and had the amount added to their bill.

"This is the first time that this approach has ever been done with the supermarket industry, and the first time it has been attempted to bring it down to the grass roots through the supermarket," said Jim Morford, president of the New Jersey Food Council.

Retailers contacted by SN had high praise for the program.

Grand Union had donation forms at cash registers in its 45 New Jersey stores, said Donald Vaillancourt, corporate vice president of communications and consumer affairs.

"Nabisco is supporting this event with displays in-store. Some of them are end aisle and some of them are not," he said.

Mike Rothwell, owner of Pennington Quality Market, a 40,000-square-foot independent in Pennington, N.J., outside Princeton, said initial feedback in his store has been very positive and helped create excitement and traffic.