Save A Lot has launched a donation program called “Round Up at the Register” at 580 stores to help support Feeding America and address the national coin shortage.
The St. Louis-based discount grocery chain said yesterday that, under the program, customers at participating stores can round up their transaction total to the nearest dollar at checkout and donate that change to Feeding America member food banks, as well as to other local charities identified by the store. The round-up can be applied to any transaction, including cash, credit, debit or check.
“As the go-to neighborhood grocery store for so many of our valued customers, Save A Lot is committed to making the lives of everyone in the communities we serve better every day, in every way,” CEO Kenneth McGrath said in a statement. “Now more than ever, local food banks need our help, and by joining forces with Feeding America to bring our ‘Round Up at the Register’ program to life, we can help provide that much-needed support to our neighbors who need it most.”
Save A Lot noted that the program will provide meaningful assistance in the nation’s shortfall of coins, which stems from the impact of COVID-19.
In June, the Federal Reserve announced that the coronavirus outbreak “significantly disrupted” the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coinage. The Fed and its coin distribution sites then began allocating supplies of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to depository institutions as a temporary measure to ensure a “fair and equitable distribution” of the current coin inventory. Though fewer people are visiting stores and more are buying online because of the pandemic, cash represents over a third of all funds transacted in person by U.S. consumers and nearly half of all funds for transactions of less than $10.
For Feeding America, Round Up at the Register will generate a minimum donation of $100,000, according to Save A Lot. So far this year, the retailer has donated nearly 1.6 million pounds of food to Feeding America member food banks across the country.
“Feeding America estimates that an additional 17 million people may face hunger as a result of the pandemic,” stated Lauren Biedron, vice president of corporate partnerships at Feeding America. “We are thankful to Save A Lot for its generous support of member food banks across the country during these challenging times. Their support will make a difference for our neighbors who are struggling to put food on their tables.”
Overall, Save A Lot operates 14 distribution centers and has a retail network of more than 1,125 stores in 33 states, with the vast majority of the locations licensed by independent grocers. The company is owned by Canadian private-equity firm Onex Corp.