“Every third meal provided by Operation Food Search to low-income individuals is due to direct charitable donations from Schnucks”
ST. LOUIS, 2015-10-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — For more than 30 years, Schnuck Markets, Inc. has helped Operation Food Search (OFS) feed hungry residents of the St. Louis area by providing food donations as well as financial contributions. Over this three-decade partnership, meat protein donations were rare due to food safety concerns. Thanks to a committed partnership between OFS and the Schnucks Food Safety team over the course of the past five years, “Meat Rescue” today is a daily reality. Working closely with OFS member agencies, Schnucks and OFS have developed a system to safeguard proper food handling of meat donations, allowing those in need to receive the nutritional benefits of a meat-based main course. Initially piloted in two stores in 2010, meat recovery is now taking place in nearly every Schnucks location and has served as a model program to others.
“Over the past six months, Schnucks has donated more than 500,000 pounds of meat protein in addition to bakery, produce, dairy and other items,” says Sunny Schaefer, OFS Executive Director. “This totals a staggering 11 million pounds of food annually, or the equivalent of 6,250,000 meals to nourish hungry children and adults. In fact, every third meal provided by Operation Food Search to low-income individuals is due to direct charitable donations from Schnucks.”
These donations align with one of Schnucks’ highest community relations priorities: providing hunger relief to residents within the communities it serves. “We partner with key hunger relief organizations across our five-state area through our year-round, and often daily, donations of food,” says Joanie Taylor, Schnucks director of consumer affairs and community relations. “‘The Meat Rescue program is one of the first in the nation, and because of its success, it is now being replicated by hunger relief agencies and grocers across the county,” Taylor adds.
In addition to daily donations of food, OFS benefited from more than $800,000 in proceeds from the Schnucks 75th Anniversary Gala in 2014. OFS used the funds to purchase a new refrigerated box truck and to increase the impact of its nutrition education outreach that assists low-income individuals in learning how to prepare healthy, affordable meals.
Operation Food Search was established in 1981 to address the growing problem of hunger and has since become the largest distributor of free food resources in the bi-state area. Each month, the organization distributes nearly three million pounds of food and household items at no cost to 250 member agencies in the City of St. Louis and in 26 Missouri and Illinois counties. These community partners in turn feed 190,000 people in need each month, nearly one-third of whom are children. For every dollar donated by individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations, OFS provides $22 worth of food and nutrition services to assist the hungry.
Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. is a third-generation, family-owned grocery/pharmacy retailer committed to nourishing people’s lives. The company takes pride in its community partnerships and gives in kind and cash donations to more than 500 not-for-profit organizations each year. Schnucks currently operates 98 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. Privately held, Schnucks employs nearly 15,000 teammates and is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Follow Schnucks on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Schnucks.