Now through Dec. 26, BI-LO customers in Cleveland, Chattanooga and elsewhere in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee can participate in BI-LO’s Holiday Hunger Relief program by making a monetary donation in increments of $1, $3 or $5 at the checkout. Funds raised will be distributed to local food banks, to provide as many meals as possible this holiday season.
Appearing at a kick-off event at a BI-LO store in Greenville, S.C., Deen backed the Holiday Hunger Relief program with words of personal support and teamed up with BI-LO to make a generous donation on behalf of Springer Mountain Farms, a family-owned business raising chickens for more than 60 years, to food banks in the area. In addition, BI-LO has promised to match customer donations up to $15,000 in the Upstate.
“This holiday season, we have improved the Holiday Hunger Relief program by allowing charitable organizations to select food products based on the needs of the families they serve instead of providing pre-packaged donations,” said Fred Shropshier, BI-LO’s regional vice president. “With the support of our generous customers, BI-LO is dedicated to helping hard-working ... charities in the effort to ensure no family goes hungry over the holidays, especially during this time of increased economic hardship.”
Customers of the local BI-LOs can make donations to this program at the checkout. But BI-LO helps collect money and other donations for various organizations and programs year-round, said Debbie Kaylor, co-manager at the Ocoee Crossing BI-LO, such as for the YMCA and The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
“BI-LO is constantly doing things for the community throughout the year,” Kaylor said. “It is giving all year-round for various programs.”
The Caring Place of Cleveland has been a recipient of BI-LO’s generosity for about four years now, said Reba Terry, executive director of The Caring Place.
“In previous years, BI-LO would package up bags for $5 and sell to their customers,” Terry said. “And The Caring Place would pick them up. This year, BI-LO started a pilor program to ask for donations at the checkout.”
This year, the money collected will allow The Caring Place and the other Cleveland-area organization that BI-LO is helping, the Waterville Baptist Church, to fill out an order sheet themselves, purchasing exactly what they need from the BI-LO shelves.
“We’re very grateful for the gift ... It’s a win-win,” Terry said. The Caring Place will be able to select specifically the foods they need from a BI-LO order guide to fill their pantries, such as cereal, pancake mix and syrup, canned vegetables, beans and rice, peanut butter and jelly, and Hamburger Helper-type products. “I like this better than the pre-made bags.”
And all the food The Caring Place receives will be distributed to local needy families.
The once-a-month Caring Compassion food distribution program at The Waterville Baptist Church of Cleveland has been receiving food donations from BI-LO’s food programs for about four years as well.
“BI-LO has been a wonderful community partner for us,” said Joe Brooks, assistant pastor of Waterville Baptist. “They have been a strong supporter of our Caring Compassion program.”
The Caring Compassion program gives out food the third Monday of every month at the church’s Family Life Center.
“Just show up,” said Pastor Allan Loveland of The Waterville Baptist Church. Donations, particularly of such items as rice, baby food, cereal oatmeal, and canned goods, also are accepted at this location. Over the years, BI-LO has also given the church vouchers for bread and milk, etc., that can be redeemed at area BI-LO stores.
Participating area food banks with BI-LO’s Holiday Hunger Relief Program include:
n The Caring Place of Cleveland
n Waterville Baptist Church of Cleveland
n Chattanooga Area Food Bank
n Helping Hands Food Bank of Eton
n Salvation Army of Dalton
n Soddy Daisy Food Bank
n Soddy Daisy United Methodist Church
n The Care Mission of LaFayette
n Tri-State Food Pantry of Trenton
n We Care Community Service Center of Dayton, and
n Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church of Etowah
BI-LO has been working with local food banks to relieve hunger during the holidays for more than 15 years, donating more than one million pounds of food to feed families in the communities it serves.
For more information about BI-LO or to find a store near you, visit www.bi-lo.com.
To donate food and/or money, contact The Caring Place at 472-4414 or go to 130 Wildwood Ave. or in barrels located in several areas around town or even online at http://thecaringplaceonline.org. The Caring Place will also pickup food donations. The Waterville Baptist Church, phone number 472-5582, also will accept donations at their location at 3722 Dalton Pike.