Wegmans Food Markets Inc. has worked closely with the Monmouth County Food Bank and the American Red Cross in New Jersey since Hurricane Sandy hit to donate emergency food and ice, according to a news release.
Wegmans operates seven stores in New Jersey, two of which are in Monmouth County, an area severely impacted by the hurricane. Not only were Wegmans' customers impacted by the storm, but employees were, too.
"I have stayed in close touch with both organizations on a daily basis to understand their needs, and I will continue to do so," says Linda Lovejoy, Wegmans' community relations manager. "We have always worked closely with food banks and disaster relief agencies, so that we can react quickly when disaster strikes."
Lovejoy also said that in affected areas of Pennsylvania where Wegmans has stores, individual stores have donated food and ice directly to agencies that are operating emergency shelters.
Sixty-one of Wegmans stores are in the midst of running their annual hunger relief scanning programs, under such names as Check Out Hunger or Care About Hunger, which directly benefit local food banks. These programs began in October, with ending dates that vary by market, anywhere from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
The remaining Wegmans stores conduct their annual hunger relief scanning campaigns in February. Those stores (in Buffalo, Jamestown, Corning, Elmira, Ithaca, Johnson City, Hornell, NY and Erie, Harrisburg, State College, PA) began accepting checkout donations Tuesday for Feeding America, which will provide resources to food banks in the affected areas.
Lovejoy emphasized the importance of giving to these campaigns: "Rather than implement a separate scanning program for Hurricane Sandy, we are reminding our customers that by giving at check out to their local food bank, they are, in fact, helping the entire food relief system help the victims of Hurricane Sandy throughout the northeast. Food banks will help today, but also in the weeks and months to come."