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Addressing the issue of hunger has become more urgent as families face being out of work and kids are home all day.

The GIANT Company has pledged a $250,000 donation to four hunger relief organizations: The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Meals on Wheels Pennsylvania, Philabundance, and the Maryland Food Bank. These four organizations bring hope to people in over 30 counties in the two states that they serve while they work through extraordinary circumstances to supply food to pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.

“While our nonprofit partners are doing an amazing job at serving the community as usual in these challenging times, they are facing unique pressure due to lost wages forcing more families to ask for help and social distancing causing some heart-breaking cases of isolation,” said Nicholas Bertram, president, The GIANT Company. “The GIANT Company’s purpose is to connect families for a better future, which is why we are acting with urgency and providing them with funds now so they can continue to support our most vulnerable neighbors. Working together, we can truly make a difference and it’s our hope that anyone who can does join us in providing relief to these life-sustaining organizations.”

Related reading: Free food for kids during COVID-19 shutdown

The three food banks and Meals on Wheels Pennsylvania are assembling and shipping thousands of pre-packaged boxes of healthy shelf-stable food, bags of produce, dairy products, and frozen meals for distribution to partner agencies and clients. To minimize the risk of disease transmission, these organizations have had to terminate many food drives, adding to current difficulties.

The donated funds will be used to address immediate needs including offsetting operational expenses, securing food, and ensuring that food is delivered to those in need, especially seniors and children.

Joe Arthur, executive director of Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, said, “We are so thankful to The GIANT Company for stepping up quickly to help support our massive COVID-19 Crisis Response. Our Food Bank is expending significant additional money to build and supply thousands of pre-packed healthy food boxes each day to our partner agencies as they safely serve families in need using modified procedures. We also continue to provide fresh produce, milk, eggs, dairy, and frozen foods, also using modified safe practices. Given the scale of this crisis, we are hopeful other organizations and donors will follow GIANT's lead.”

“Philabundance serves 90,000 people a week at risk of hunger across the Delaware Valley,” explained Glenn Bergman, executive director, Philabundance. “With school closures, suspended work operations and limited access to food due to COVID-19, that number will steadily increase. Thanks to GIANT’s generous donation, we will be able to provide our neighbors in need with the food they need during this difficult time.”

Customers looking to support local hunger relief efforts can choose to round up their purchases at GIANT self-checkouts.

“We are so grateful to The GIANT Company for their amazing support during this tumultuous time,” said Frank Ducey, regional program director for the Maryland Food Bank – Western Branch. “This pandemic is a completely unbudgeted expense that has put an enormous strain on our operations. But with help from valuable corporate partners like GIANT, we’ll be able to ensure food continues to move in and out of our doors so that the food pantries, soup kitchens, and other organizations we supply can get it into the hands of our hungry neighbors during this heightened time of need.”

“On behalf of Meals on Wheels Pennsylvania, we are overwhelmed by the generosity and support of The Giant Company,” said LuAnn Oatman, president, Meals on Wheels Pennsylvania. “The programs in our network are so grateful for the additional funding to assist with serving our homebound senior population. At a time like this, it is so important to remember the elderly. Thank you, Giant Company, for all you are doing to ensure that Meals on Wheels is able to continue!”

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.