Transition facilitator, Conroy Education Center, Pittsburgh
We have had 30 or 40 students from Conroy go through Project Opportunity, and nearly half of them are still with Giant Eagle, including the first two we placed in 1991. Project Opportunity is a fantastic program for disabled students. For many, it's their first venture into community service. The program works because Dale Giovengo [Giant Eagle's director of human resources in Pittsburgh] sold the chain's human resources people on the project first, and they've never looked back. Because of the success of the program, parents can see how well it works. So they are willing to allow their children to enter the program. Until a few years ago, when there were cutbacks in the school system, the Pittsburgh public schools developed a curriculum based in part on Project Opportunity that trained students for jobs in the food-service industry, which helped them find jobs on their own after graduation.
Director of vocational services, Pittsburgh Vision Services
We have a very special relationship with Giant Eagle. Project Opportunity is a unique initiative coming from a large employer because it bridges the gap between the employer and the rehabilitation community. A lot of companies support our efforts to find jobs for disabled people, but Giant Eagle shows its commitment through its actions.
Director of development, Cleveland Food Bank
Giant Eagle is one of the strongest partners we have in northeast Ohio. They are one of our largest retail donors, giving us more than 2 million pounds of food in 2003. They supply nonperishables on a regular basis, and they donate ground beef, produce, milk and dairy products at least once a week. Besides food contributions, they also provide financial donations and voluntary support. For example, we're building a new food distribution center. Early in that process, Giant Eagle put us together with their warehouse distribution and logistics experts to help us do an in-depth study of current information to determine what we needed in the new facility. Anthony Rego, Giant Eagle's vice chairman, is also on our board, and he's been chairing our effort to raise $10 million for the project.
President, Field Trip Factory, Chicago
Giant Eagle stepped up to the plate 12 years ago when it recognized the need for students to get nutritional information. They came to us and said they were interested in finding a program that benefitted the community and the stores -- something that would be of value to both. Giant Eagle took a leadership role in nutritional education 12 years ago, before other companies stepped up to say nutrition was an important issue. I give them a lot of credit for their foresight in realizing that.
Vice president, National MS Society (Ohio Buckeye chapter)
Giant Eagle's involvement with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society here has helped us increase the funds we've raised in the last 18 months alone by $150,000, or 20%, because of the help they've given us promoting the MS Walk and the cause itself with bag stuffers at the stores and mailers to Advantage Card members. We've been working with them in eastern Ohio for several years. Because of that relationship, they've reached outside of Ohio to MS groups in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. As a result, we've been able to increase exposure of our cause to more people, many of whom have donated money or participated in the walk.
Jo Ann Meier
Executive director, Pittsburgh Race for the Cure
Giant Eagle doesn't just work with Race for the Cure on race day. They are a partner with us all year long in a variety of community efforts that help us build awareness for dealing with and eradicating breast cancer. They are there for us all the time and willing to provide gift coupons for door prizes or whatever we need for various events. In connection with the race itself, although they have their own program, they open their stores to promotions from other sponsors that add to our profits at the end of the year. This past year, for example, they had an endcap for Pepsi-Aquafina and a display of Yoplait yogurt in connection with Save Lids to Save Lives. They also partnered with Gerber's Kids for the Cure program, which helps children who have lost a parent to breast cancer. When it comes to their survivor tents, they are unique in that they not only provide the food, but they also staff the tent and enhance the experience for survivors.