Wegmans Food Markets provided Foodlink with significant support last spring with a $700,000 donation to aid its early COVID-19 relief efforts as food insecurity rose dramatically in the Rochester area.
This fall, Wegmans customers matched that generosity – and chipped in a little extra.
The results of the annual Check Out Hunger campaign with Wegmans were announced today, with a grand total of $710,212.34 raised from customers’ donations at 21 Rochester-area stores. The total is the highest since the campaign began in 1993.
“Like they do every year, Wegmans customers showed up in a big way to support Foodlink during a critical time for us and our community – and we couldn’t be more grateful,” said Julia Tedesco, President & CEO of Foodlink. “The Check Out Hunger campaign is a significant fundraiser that allows us to ramp up our operations to address the dramatic rise in food insecurity that has impacted every corner of our region.”
The point-of-sale campaign, which has raised more than $43 million across all of its stores since it began 27 years ago, allows Wegmans customers to donate $2, $3 or $5 – or round up their grocery bill – while they are in the checkout line. This year’s campaign ran from Oct. 18 through Nov. 28.
“We are so proud to partner with our community to raise money for our food banks,” said Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Wegmans Food Markets. “We are overwhelmed by the generosity our customers have shown for one another. Together we can help end hunger in our neighborhoods.”
Funding helps support Foodlink’s ongoing response to COVID-19, which has impacted tens of thousands of households’ ability to put food on the table for the first time. Before this year, approximately 135,000 people in Foodlink’s 10-county service area lived in a food-insecure household. Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, close to 200,000 people now have limited or uncertain access to enough healthy foods.
In addition to their initial $700,000 gift to Foodlink, which was part of a $4 million donation to 47 food banks in seven states, Wegmans also has provided critical staffing support for the Foodlink Community Kitchen, and, of course, millions of pounds of donated food throughout the year. Wegmans is also a key employer partner for the Foodlink Career Fellowship, Foodlink’s unique cook apprenticeship and culinary training program.
To learn more about Foodlink’s response to the pandemic, or to donate or volunteer, visit FoodlinkNY.org.