QUINCY, Mass. -- Since hunger doesn't take a summer recess, Stop & Shop Cos. here has pulled out all the stops to raise funds that will carry area food banks through the summer.
The chain's eighth annual sponsorship of Food for Friends Month, held throughout April and culminating with a Food For Friends Drive on May 2, raised over $750,000 -- enough to buy over 265 tons of food.
"Bill Grize, our chief executive officer, challenged us to double last year's total, which comes out to 265 tons," said Monica Connors, a Stop & Shop spokeswoman.
To generate interest, Stop & Shop partnered with 50 local radio stations throughout New England, as well as area newspapers and television stations. During the food drive on May 2, many radio stations conducted live remotes from Stop & Shop stores and offered free movie passes to contributors.
Store employees also got with the program.
"The store managers really got involved in this effort. Some managers challenged their associates to raise about $5,000, and if they did the store managers would shave their heads.
"The associates reached their goal, and the manager had his head shaved right in front of the store. We had the local newspaper there and we had some great shots. It was a lot of fun," Connors said.
Much of the total amount was raised by selling paper "cans" in the stores. Priced at $1.00, each can buys one pound of food for a local food bank. Stop & Shop's grocery vendors also donated $20,000 and sponsored a clipless coupon book with the proceeds going to the Food For Friends program.