Midwestern retailer Hy-Vee Inc., in collaboration with its customers and supplier partners, has donated nearly $800,000 of food and supplies to local nonprofits and food banks in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.
Eighteen semi truckloads of supplies were donated among 10 local organizations on Tuesday as a result of Hy-Vee’s recent donation campaign and “Stuff-A-Truck” event, which was held at all 11 Hy-Vee stores in the Twin Cities during the past week and weekend. The campaign is part of Hy-Vee’s recently announced companywide $1 million and 1 million volunteer-hour commitment to organizations that support racial unity and equality. (Check out this video showing the collection, pickup, delivery and distribution of the Stuff-A-Truck event.)
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee has more than 260 stores in eight Midwestern states.
In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May, civil unrest and protests over systemic racism led to riots, property damage and temporary business closures in the Twin Cities area. Hy-Vee’s efforts in part seek to provide food and supplies such as diapers and formula to areas that were hard hit during those incidents.
“By working with our customers and suppliers toward one common goal, we can make real progress in creating change within our communities,” Hy-Vee chairman, CEO and president Randy Edeker said last week in announcing the initiative. “We are committed to promoting racial unity and equality for all. One way we can help do that is by taking care of areas that are currently food deserts so no one ever has to think about going hungry.”
Throughout the donation campaign, customers could donate any dollar amount at the register during checkout. Proceeds went toward purchasing grocery and other items to fill the trucks. During the “Stuff-A-Truck” event, customers were able to purchase pre-filled bags of food and essential supplies for $5 or $10 to add to the trucks. Hy-Vee also donated $100,000 toward food and supplies.
In addition to customer donations and Hy-Vee’s donation, many of Hy-Vee’s suppliers also contributed to the campaign. Partners include: Blue Bunny, Campbell Soup Company, Chobani, The Coca-Cola Company, Crystal Farms, Dean Summa LC, Deoleo/Bertolli, Energizer, Fine Italian Foods, Frito-Lay, The Gatorade Company, General Mills, Hormel Foods, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Company, Kemps, Kimberly-Clark, McCormick & Company, Nestle, Old Dutch Foods, PepsiCo, Post Consumer Brands, Procter & Gamble, Rose Acre Farms, SC Johnson, Smithfield Foods, SunWest Fruit Company, Topco Associates, LLC, Tyson Foods and Unilever.
“Thank you to everyone who so generously contributed to this campaign — it is amazing to see what can be accomplished when so many individuals and organizations come together to work toward one common goal,” said Mary Fuhrman, senior vice president of Hy-Vee’s north region. “These are just the first steps in creating real change, but we are committed to being here to support and stand by organizations that support equality and unity within our communities.”
The food and supply donations were delivered to the following organizations:
• The Hallie Q. Brown Community Center is an African-American, nonprofit social service agency that provides access to critical human services to improve the quality of life in the community.
• Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS) provides access to nutritious food for those in need.
• East Side Neighborhood Services aims to provide pathways toward equity, offering a variety of programs for youth, families and older adults.
• Keystone Community Services offer services aimed at strengthening the community and serving people with the greatest needs.
• Merrick Community Services provides day services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities in Ramsey County, offering life enrichment opportunities and meaningful work to help empower adults with disabilities.
• Neighborhood House supports individuals and families from diverse communities in St. Paul and beyond, providing basic needs, education, youth programs and more.
• NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center is a multi-specialty medical, dental and mental health center and human service agency in north Minneapolis.
• PRISM is a nonprofit in the Northwest Twin Cities suburbs that provides basic needs to individuals and families including food, clothing, supplies and more.
• The Sanneh Foundation offers nationally recognized youth advancement programs to meet the needs of the increasingly diverse Twin Cities metro area.
• Second Harvest Heartland is a food bank that distributes food to nearly 1,000 food shelves across 59 counties.