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Meijer Engages Team Members in Philanthropic Program

Specialty Food Association

Meijer announced Tuesday its plans to give nearly $3 million to the people and communities it serves across the Midwest during a first-ever donation that engaged its store and distribution facility team members to identify and select the nonprofits because of their local ties.   

"At Meijer, we care about the communities we serve and follow a simple philosophy set by our founders – to take care of our customers, team members and community and all of them will take care of you, just like a family," said Rick Keyes, president and CEO of Meijer, in a statement. "Our team members are a crucial part of this so, as we show our support this holiday season, we wanted to invite them to play a larger role in our giving culture."

Earlier this fall, Meijer team members in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin formed a diverse committee at each store and distribution facility to nominate a local nonprofit organization or two for consideration of a fall donation. Each store and distribution facility could award one local nonprofit $10,000 or two nonprofits $5,000 each in the Meijer Team Gives donation program.

Some stores organized their committee by including a team member from each department while others asked for volunteers or invited those who regularly contribute to their community to participate. They nominated organizations that were personally meaningful, made an impact in their community, or served an overlooked part of their local population. They spoke to local organizations to learn more and found ways to stretch the donation further by identifying match opportunities. Some stores and distribution facilities even opened the nominations up for the entire store to vote.

In Muskegon, Michigan, the store director celebrated by providing a meal from a local pizzeria – and a ballot – to the entire store team to narrow down their organizations. Ultimately, they chose to donate $5,000 apiece to Kids' Food Basket and Every Women's Place.  

"Every Woman's Place has been providing critical services in our community for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking for over 45 years. These services include residential and non-residential services like emergency shelter, crisis line, housing programs, financial assistance, legal advocacy, and obtaining critical documents," said Elisa Hopper, director of development at Every Woman's Place, in a statement. "What makes these services so important is that they strengthen and empower survivors to be independent of their assailants and to take back control of their lives and their futures. In our delivery of services, and in our mission, our values are clear: we are a place of hope, safety, and healing for all survivors. With the support and contributions of agencies like Meijer, EWP can continue to empower them toward a life free from violence."

Related: Whole Foods Releases Limited Edition Holiday Products; American Cheddar Comes of Age.