LIMA — Thanks to a donation Tuesday from the company behind Chief Marketplace and Community Markets, the West Ohio Food Bank will be able to give the much-needed gift of food to needy families throghout northwest Ohio.
Fresh Encounter Inc. donated $11,922, the equivalent of 95,376 meals, to the food bank, a donation Fresh Encounter CEO Michael Needler Jr. said was made possible thanks to their customers.
“This is the second year that we did the Thanks for Giving program, which donates eight meals for every turkey that we sell in our stores during the holidays,” he said. “Last year, we achieved almost 45,000 meals, and this year, we more than doubled it.”
All of the Ohio Chief, Community Markets, Sack ‘n Save and Great Scott Supermarkets took part in the program. For Needler, it was all about acting out a core philosophy of the company.
“We feel, as a company, that we are doing our part to serve the communities that we serve and the customers that shop our stores so loyally,” he said. “We think that when you shop local, it’s important for the money to stay local.”
Having that local connection has helped company executives see the need for food in the region.
“There are a lot of families in need out there,” Needler said. “We see it and our customers see it. If everybody does their part, we can all lend everyone a hand up and help get them out of a hole. Hopefully, as a community, we can be better tomorrow than we are today.”
Linda Hamilton, CEO of the food bank, was thankful for the donation, noting that this amount of money will be able to feed 1,135 families of four every day for one week.
“We are excited about our partnership with the Fresh Encounter family of stores,” she said. “The West Ohio Food Bank services 11 surrounding counties, and donations such as this one will keep more families fed during the upcoming winter months.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.