MARQUETTE — One program with Meijer donated additional money to food pantries in response to a record breaking year of donations. ABC 10’s, Caylee Kirby got to learn about the program and what it is doing to help the Marquette community.



On Tuesday morning, the Marquette Meijer and its employees presented 5,000 dollar checks to the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul from the Meijer Simply Give Program.

“Three times a year for almost a month long we’ll run those food pantry programs” said Meijer Store Director, John Spaulding. “You will see signage in the store and there will be little kiosks within the store with these little cards that you just grab one and you buy it like you’re buying a piece of merchandise and again that money goes directly to these food pantries.”

Last year, over $8.5 million was donated and as a thank you, Meijer gave an extra $5,000 to every food pantry that participated in the program.

“It’s a huge reward for St. Vincent de Paul, we’re happy that the Meijer store is doing this and helping the people out a lot of people” said St. Vincent de Paul Pantry Board Member, Jerry Farrell.

Many people donate to food banks and food pantries, but often times it’s in the form of canned good instead of fresh produce.

In certain situations, food pantries will buy a pallet of food and give that out to the community.

“So in this case, having gift certificates, we can actually buy fresh food. With the fresh food, it just supplements what we’re giving out to the community, so it’s a real exciting thing” said Salvation Army Captain, Doug Winters.

$5,000 can really go a long way for these food pantries as well.

“This can last us at least three or four months. It depends on how much fresh food we’re delivering into the community” said Winters. “Generally, we like to buy some of the root vegetables; potatoes and carrots that will last a long time and we can get those out to a lot of families.”

Both the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul are thankful for the opportunity to be able to buy fresh food for those who need it, as for the store director.

“I’m really proud and honored to work for such a company. This is normal, this is what I’ve been doing for the past 40 years; supporting the communities that I have lived in where Meijer has been. It’s just a part of us and it feels good. It’s the right thing to do to support the community. And, we want our customers to know what kind of company we are” said Meijer Store Director, John Spaulding.