St. Louis Grocers Provide Holiday Cheer for the Less Fortunate

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It is twelve days until Christmas. You've finished your holiday shopping, put up your Christmas lights, and perfected your mother's gingerbread recipe, yet you still feel your holiday mission is not complete. Well, a quick visit to your local grocer may be the answer to your problem.

This holiday season, Whole Foods, Schnucks and Dierbergs plan on contributing to area charities. All they need is a little assistance from you.

To get into the Christmas spirit, Schnucks is working with the Urban League, the St. Patrick Center and Operation Food Search. During Thanksgiving the St. Louis supermarket chain was able to donate turkeys and dry goods to around 1,300 families. This December, Salvation Army bell ringers are outside its stores, and every day of the year Schnucks works with Operation Food Search to distribute to various food banks around the St. Louis area.

Schnucks is also keen on granting its individual stores the freedom to come up with their own giving campaigns that include coat drives, adopt-a-family programs and giving trees.

"Philanthropy has been a part of our community involvement for 75 years. We give back to the community that we serve," says Paul Simon, a spokesman for Schnucks.

This year, Dierbergs is celebrating its 30th anniversary by working with Operation Food Search.The company's stores are collecting donations at checkout for the charity. "Customers can purchase premade food donation bags and deposit them in holiday bins for Operation Food Search," says Todd Vasel for Dierbergs Markets.

Over the course of seventeen years, Diebergs has managed to raise $1 million worth of food products annually for the organization. Also, it has created a holiday theme for its weekly pet-adoption program with the animal shelter Stray Rescue, called "Secret Santa for Stray Rescue."

Earlier this week, Whole Foods kicked off its "Fight Back Hunger Program" for Operation Food Search in which customers are given the option to donate $5, $10, $20, or any amount to the cause. For the past ten years, Whole Foods has also collected gifts for foster children with a giving tree inside its stores. Each tree carries the name of a foster child and a gift suggestion. Customers can bring a gift back to the grocery store where they will be picked up and delivered to the children.

Additionally, Whole Foods in Town & Country is participating in "Helping Hand Me Downs." The store is asking for clothing and baby items for infants up to one year in age. All collected items will be distributed to children born into poverty.

"One of our core values is that we care about the community that we do our business with," says Marcia Whelan, spokeswoman for the Town & Country store.

All three grocery chains strive to help their surrounding communities by contributing to the less fortunate. The question is: Have you done your part? All it takes is a trip to the supermarket.


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