CLEVELAND — Recognizing its responsibility to feed our communities, Giant Eagle announced on Monday that it has committed $500,000 to help feed K through 12 students through an expanded partnership with its regional food bank partners, with $125,000 of this funding being directed toward Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
As Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Parma City School District and so many others throughout northeast Ohio continue a virtual 2020-2021 academic year, many schools and their families face renewed challenges regarding how they will get healthy and filling meals to students to fuel their learning. Just as each school district is taking a unique view of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the food banks serving our communities each have evolving plans for how they are helping feed the students in their regions. Greater Cleveland Food Bank is undertaking numerous efforts, highlighted by its expanded Backpack for Kids program. Since the pandemic began, the Food Bank has distributed more than 139,000 backpacks to families. Each backpack contains enough healthy food to provide several days’ worth of meals.
“The pandemic has challenged every business to make important decisions on how we best support our employees, our customers and our communities. At Giant Eagle, our responsibility to keep our neighbors fed has never been more apparent, and the need to help families feed children in a socially distanced or virtual schooling environment is immediate,” said Giant Eagle spokesperson Dan Donovan. “We are all extremely fortunate to have the unwavering passion and expertise of our regional food banks, and we know that putting these funds in their hands will help us best serve area students facing hunger.”
The $500,000 Giant Eagle is providing to regional food bank partners will be used specifically to address K-12 students facing hunger. To support the greater need caused by COVID-19 across our communities, Giant Eagle has continued the Feeding America register campaign it launched at the outset of the pandemic in March. To date, the register campaign has generated more than $4 million and the company plans to continue the fundraising effort through at least the end of the calendar year.
“Giant Eagle has long been a critical partner for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Put simply, no other entity drives more product and monetary donations than Giant Eagle,” said Diane Davet, director of programs, Greater Cleveland Food Bank. “During the pandemic, the company has doubled down on its commitment to feeding facing hunger across our communities, and we cannot thank them enough.”
The immediacy of the need to help feed students throughout our area drove Giant Eagle to make this funding available now. The company historically committed these funds to support its Apples for the Students program, which awarded schools funds toward the end of the school year. Given the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, Giant Eagle has made the decision to halt the Apples for the Students program in favor of addressing this urgent need.
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