Food Lion launches new effort to fight hunger, pledges 500 million meals in six years

  • Posted: Monday, June 9, 2014 10:56 a.m.

SALISBURY — Food Lion today pledged to donate 500 million meals to families in need by the end of 2020 through a new community relations effort, Food Lion Feeds, which will focus on hunger relief.

To mark the launch of Food Lion Feeds, the Salisbury-based grocery store chain will donate 1 million meals in five days as part of a week of giving.

While Food Lion has a longstanding commitment to relieving hunger in local communities, the company is taking a more focused approach to ending hunger under the leadership of new President Beth Newlands Campbell.

During the past five years, the grocer has provided nearly 150 million meals. Food Lion Feeds will more than triple that.

“When I was a store manager, I saw firsthand the tough choices our customers are sometimes forced to make to feed their families,” Food Lion President Beth Newlands Campbell said in a news release. “In difficult times, many people have to decide whether to pay rent, buy groceries or purchase gasoline to get to work, because they simply cannot do all three.

“At Food Lion, we believe no one should have to choose between dinner and paying rent or gasoline and buying groceries. That’s why we’re so passionate about our renewed focus on ending hunger and working to make the lines shorter at local feeding agencies through Food Lion Feeds.”

Food Lion will also partner with customers to help end hunger by launching a special Food Lion Feeds reusable bag for sale in stores today. With the sale of each bag through June 30, Food Lion will donate five meals to local food banks, in partnership with Feeding America.

Feeding America is the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization comprised of a network of more than 200 member local food banks.

“Food Lion Feeds is our commitment to help end the choices families are forced to make when they are hungry,” Newlands Campbell said. “Although the initiative launches this week, it will come to life year-round in our stores, starting with the reusable bag program. We want our customers and our communities to know that we stand for hunger relief and that they can count on Food Lion every day.”

Food Lion’s Week of Giving kicked off today with the donation of 2,500 Summers Without Hunger food boxes that were each packed with 15 products for breakfast, lunch and dinner by Food Lion associates at the company’s headquarters on Harrison Road.

The food boxes, donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, will provide more than 30,000 meals to families in need in the Charlotte area, as well as the Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point areas this summer.

Throughout the rest of the week, Food Lion will make four additional donations across its markets as part of its 1 million meal donation in five days, focusing on a different aspect of hunger each day:

• On Tuesday, Food Lion will partner with the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore to provide food to families in need, especially veterans, in the greater Norfolk, Va., area who are struggling with hunger.

• On Wednesday, the grocer will join forces with the Maryland Food Bank to visit an elementary school in the Baltimore area to provide food to children who receive meals at school during the week but are at risk of hunger on the weekends and during the summer.

• On Thursday, Food Lion associates in the greater Myrtle Beach community will distribute meals to senior citizens in need through a partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank.

• Finally, on Friday, Food Lion will end the week by donating produce to families who may not have access to fresh, healthy food in the Raleigh area by partnering with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. At each event, local Food Lion associates, joined by Newlands Campbell and Senior Vice President of Retail Operations Greg Finchum as well as other Food Lion leaders, will distribute food and support local feeding agencies to help eliminate hunger this summer.

More information about Food Lion Feeds is available at Follow the week’s activities on Twitter @FoodLion or @FoodLionNews using the hashtag #FoodLionFeeds, or on Food Lion’s Lion’s Tale blog.

Founded in Salisbury in 1957, Food Lion now has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 people. Food Lion is owned by Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group.

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