Giant Food is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2021, and the mark the occasion the Washington, D.C.-area chain aims to donate more than $5 million to local nonprofit and organization partners in the communities it serves.
Landover, Md.-based Giant, part of Ahold Delhaize USA, said Wednesday that associates also will be volunteering time to support local nonprofits Maryland Food Bank, Food Bank of Delaware and Martha’s Table.
“Reflecting on our 85th year is even more poignant knowing that our Giant Food family and our communities faced unprecedented challenges in 2020,” Giant Food President Ira Kress said in a statement. “I am proud that our legacy of community service continued and that our team never wavered in our commitment and service to our customers and to helping those in need.”
Giant was founded in 1936 by N.H. Cohen and Sam Lehrman when they opened the District of Columbia’s first grocery store, according to the company. The regional grocer now operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and D.C., including 153 in-store pharmacies, 82 full-service PNC Banks and 24 Starbucks in-store cafes. Recently, Giant expanded sales and merchandising operations at its Prince George's County headquarters, adding 31,000 square feet of space and creating 70 new jobs.
The food and drug retailer also has continued to build up its e-commerce business. It now offers online grocery home delivery via the Giant Delivers service, and customers can choose to order online and pick up their groceries at 144 Giant Pickup sites.
“As we extend our hands and hearts into many different initiatives and programs year over year, we have proudly remained at the center of our communities and hope to continue to remain a trusted leader for our convenience, integrity, quality, and service in our exciting 85th year and beyond,” Kress added.
Giant’s charitable efforts in its more than eight decades have focused primarily on fighting hunger, improving children’s lives and promoting community health. Local initiatives include the annual hunger box campaign and holiday giving program, regular food and essential supplies donations, support for the military community, and fundraising for such health issues as pediatric cancer.
On Feb. 5, Giant associates will help the Maryland Food Bank, Food Bank of Delaware and Martha’s Table in their mission to reduce hunger by packing food for individuals and families in need and providing other assistance.
“Giant has been a pillar in communities across the Mid-Atlantic region for decades, offering nutritious, fresh groceries while supporting local organizations like the Maryland Food Bank every step of the way,” commentedd Carmen Del Guercio, president and CEO of the Maryland Food Bank. “We are grateful for Giant’s extensive partnership and support of our initiatives over the years, helping us create innovative solutions to combat food insecurity across our state. On behalf of the Maryland Food Bank, I want to personally congratulate Giant on 85 years of success in building a business that prioritizes the needs of its customers while serving its communities with compassion and care.”
In addition, Giant today announced a $960,000 donation from the Giant Family Foundation to be distributed to its five Feeding America food bank partners — Capital Area Food Bank, Maryland Food Bank, Food Bank of Delaware, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank — and Martha’s Table to support their initiatives to battle child hunger. Another $100,000 will be donated to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), which supports military families who have recently lost a loved one in service.
“Giant has played a pivotal role in our efforts to alleviate hunger in Delaware, and we are grateful for their support and the impact they make on local communities,” stated Larry Haas, Food Bank of Delaware’s chief development officer.
And as part of its ongoing health and safety measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, Giant said it’s collaborating with municipal and state health departments to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine rollout in pharmacy stores throughout its Mid-Atlantic market area.
“Giant Food has been a valued partner for many years, providing funding for our Joyful Food Markets, nutrition classes and critical COVID-19 relief,” according to Kim Ford, president and CEO of Martha’s Table. “Health and wellness are a primary focus of Martha’s Table’s mission, and together with the support of Giant, we’re making sure that Washingtonians have access to the resources that will allow them to thrive.”