Continuing their tradition of giving back to the community, Raley’s helped feed families in need this holiday season by donating 3.4 million pounds of food raised through their annual Food For Families Holiday Bag Drive.
Giving their highest donation in recent years and surpassing their goal of 3 million pounds, Raley’s bag campaign emphasized giving wholesome and fresh food items as a part of their health initiative they established for Food for Families in 2014. Each of the holiday bags, which were delivered to local food banks, included items such as fresh carrots, bananas, whole wheat pasta, tuna, peanut butter and milk.
“We know that families facing hunger are far less likely to have a nutritionally complete diet, often because they lack access to fresh, healthy foods,” said Jennie Teel-Wolter, Food For Families Development Officer. “One of the most important ways we can work to reverse this trend is by filling our food banks with wholesome, nutrient packed foods so that the families relying on them for emergency assistance can in a way that doesn’t just fill their belly, but also nourish their bodies.”
Of the items included in the bags, Teel-Wolter said they are not only the building blocks of a healthy meal, but also some of the most requested items by food banks.
Donations were raised by Raley’s customers, team members, vendors and community partners via store and online donations, Facebook, and texts. For $10, customers were able to donate a bag of food, after which Raley’s nearly tripled the donation by turning their $10 into $27 worth of food. Each bag provided up to 21 meals and were delivered to the food banks local to the community in which the donations were made.
“Giving back to the community is one of the most important things we do at Raley’s and helping alleviate hunger is one of the primary ways that we do that,” said Teel-Wolter. “It’s a great feeling knowing that together we made the holidays happier and healthier for so many families in need.”
In addition to 3.4 million pounds of food, Raley’s also donated over 12,500 fresh turkeys, chickens and hams, which served over 65,000 individuals.
Donations were collected from Nov. 6 to Dec. 31 and helped to service families throughout Northern California and Nevada.
“We set an ambitious goal of raising 3 million pounds of food for the hungry and we surpassed it by nearly a half million extra pounds,” said Teel-Wolter, who pointed out that’s a 20% increase from last year’s 2.9 million pound donation. “That’s an incredible accomplishment.”
Teel-Wolter thanked the community, whose donations helped make the holiday bag campaign not only a success, but what she called a treasured tradition.
“I hope our entire community feels a sense of pride knowing that together we made a difference in ending food insecurity,” Teel-Wolter said.
To learn more about Raleys’ Food For Families program and the work they do all year long, visit foodforfamilies.org.
Photo courtesy of Food For Families