Gahanna Resident In Need is partnering with Meijer this month to provide hunger relief to local families through the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based, retailer's customer-driven food-pantry donation program, Simply Give.
Each Meijer Simply Give campaign is intended to replenish the shelves of nearly 200 food pantries in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The program encourages customers to purchase $10 Meijer food-pantry donation cards, which then are converted into Meijer gift cards and given to a local food pantry in the store's community.
GRIN, a community-wide, faith-based organization, was founded in 1998.
The local food pantry based at Mifflin Presbyterian Church, 123 Granville St., will benefit from donation cards purchased at the Meijer store on Hamilton Road through Sept. 28.
"We encourage community members to help us fulfill our mission of helping feed the hungry in Gahanna by purchasing a Meijer Simply Give food donation card during their next shopping trip," said Brenda Johnston, GRIN president.
Sandy Weber, GRIN volunteer, said now is the time for GRIN supporters to buy the cards.
"Meijer has been very supportive of the pantry this summer," she said. "They've covered us very well. All our food donations were low. The economy is picking up, but it hasn't affected us yet. We did 11 boxes this morning (Aug. 28) alone."
Johnston said 54 food boxes were distributed in August, just four fewer than in July. A total of 621 food boxes were distributed in 2012, she said.
For the second year, Meijer will contribute $1 million to the 2013 Simply Give program.
The Simply Give program runs three times annually for about 10 weeks. Since the program began in November 2008, nearly $6 million -- for 36 million meals -- has been donated to food pantries in the Midwest.
"Today's food pantries are in a desperate struggle to keep up with the flood of requests they receive daily," said Janet Emerson, executive vice president of retail operations for Meijer. "The Simply Give program is a way for Meijer customers to partner with Meijer and support the food banks and pantries that provide food to the hungry families in the communities we serve.
"We certainly couldn't do it without the support and commitment of our generous customers and team members, who stand beside us in this effort."
Meijer donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest, according to information on the company's website.
Anyone needing assistance from GRIN first should contact HandsOn Central Ohio at 614-221-2255 and then call GRIN at 614-471-4491, ext. 61.
Food and financial assistance is provided from 6 to 8 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of the month, from 9 a.m. to noon on the second and fourth Wednesdays and from 6 to 8 p.m. on the last Tuesday of the month. Those needing assistance should go to the back door of the church and register at the GRIN table.
The food pantry is available once per month per client.