LANHAM — Giant Food gave back to the community this year by donating $2 million to 1,564 schools in Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C. and Delaware as part of its A+ School Rewards Program and partnering with meal kit service HelloFresh.
“One of Giant Food’s top four charitable pillars is education,” said Daniel Wolk, coordinator of external communications and community relations for Giant Food. “The A+ School Rewards Program is one we’re extremely proud of.”
The A+ School Rewards Program provides funding for schools by allowing customers to register and designate two local schools to benefit from their grocery purchases. All participants have to do is buy groceries to accumulate rewards points which are credited to become money which will go to their chosen school. Anyone can register even if they do not have a child enrolled in the school system.
The company typically gives out about $2 million in donations per year. Since the creation of the A+ School Rewards Program in 1989, Giant Food has donated over $96 million to schools.
The top 14 schools this year received over $10,000 each. Total donations for the top 10 schools in the program ranged from 10 to 27 thousand with the top-earning school this year being Mater Dei School in Bethesda, Maryland with $27,917 in total donations.
As for Prince George’s County schools, one of the highest earning schools was DeMatha Catholic High School with $2,714. Following DeMatha was St. Vincent Pallotti High School with $2,591, John Hanson Montessori School with $2,250, and St. James School having earned $1,711.
“While I am thrilled to be one of the top schools, I am really grateful for all of the work that so many parents do to give us the ability to fund programs like this,” said DeMatha Principal Daniel McMahon.
Schools are allowed to use the funds however they choose for things such as scholarships, technology, programs, field trips, playgrounds and more. According to Wolk, most schools use the money for technology as well as books.
“We support all types of activities,” said John Hanson Montessori Schools’ PTSA President Nicole Nelson. “Teachers, teacher appreciation, school supplies, things for the upcoming year and our end of the year carnival.”
A lot of the money DeMatha has earned will go towards its library and recreational reading program.
“Our freshmen and sophomores are required to do recreational reading, so we buy lots of high-interest books and make them available to kids,” said McMahon.
In addition to making great strides in donating to schools, Giant Food is making even more of an impact on the surrounding community by partnering with the meal kit service HelloFresh.
“Consumers are looking for fresh, convenient meal solutions,” said Paul Chapman, director of Giant Food Deli and Bakery. “HelloFresh is a leader in the meal kit subscription channel and a partnership with them would bring two great brands together creating a fresh offer for our customers. We launched the Meal Kits in Giant stores in early June.”
As part of the partnership, Giant is selling five exclusive HelloFresh meal kits in all 166 stores in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. The kits, which are now in the deli section of stores, range from $14.99 to $19.99 and contain ingredients for recipes such as Mediterranean Style Chicken, Peppercorn Steak, and Chickpea Couscous to serve up to two people.
The hope is that the partnership will help to make Giant Food a destination for great meal options, Chapman said.
HelloFresh has planned to partner with a large grocery store for a while and has spent several years doing pilot programs to refine what they will serve to the community, said HelloFresh Head of Communications Nicole Messier
“HelloFresh has become a beloved brand,” she said. “It’s a great option if you need dinner now. It’s something easy to cook and clean up. It’s a great opportunity for business.”
The meal kits are part of Giant Food’s initiative for more prepared food and convenience options in stores for busy customers. More meal kit options are in development and will be in stores as they become available.