Grant Application Deadline: August 14, 2009
ITASCA, Ill., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- JEWEL-OSCO, a leading Midwest food and drug retailer, announced today that the company will begin accepting applications for its "Hunger Relief Grant Program," designed to fund the operational needs of food pantries and soup kitchens.
Now in its second year, the $300,000 block grant program is conducted in partnership with three "Feeding America" area food banks, including the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD), the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) and the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana (FBNI).
"Food pantries and soup kitchens are a lifeline to many families during these difficult economic times," said Jewel-Osco President Keith Nielsen. "Hunger relief is a key part of our community partnership agenda. We know these funds will be put to good use."
Qualified agencies can apply for grants of up to $2,500 that are designed to improve their operational efficiency and maximize their existing resources. Among the funding possibilities, the grant program offers a food credit of up to $750, which is administered directly through the food banks.
Grant application forms will be available online through the websites at GCFD, NIFB and FBNI. The food banks will also mail the applications directly to pantries that are current members. Agencies have until August 14th to submit a completed grant request by mail. Grants will be awarded in November.
Last year, the Hunger Relief Grant Program provided over 100 pantries with funding to buy equipment such as stoves, refrigerators, shelving and sorting tables. The program also provided funding for the transportation and delivery of food supplies.
"Jewel-Osco is making a big difference in our communities, and because of their support for the hunger relief network that we serve, we know that more people who need food help will get it," said H. Dennis Smith, CEO of Northern Illinois Food Bank. "We could not serve so many neighbors without their support and partnership."
"Community food programs need resources to keep up with the 35 percent increase in demand we've seen in the past year," said Kate Maehr, executive director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. "Jewel-Osco's Hunger Relief Grant Program will bolster our agencies' efforts by providing food supplies and equipment that will enhance efficiency and increase distribution."
"This program will enable us to provide more food for our neighbors in need," said Angie Williams, executive director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. "In the midst of an economic crisis, it is such a blessing to see Jewel-Osco extend a helping hand to our agencies that are on the frontlines battling hunger. We are so thankful for their support."
For more information about this year's grant program and how to request funding, local pantries and soup kitchens can look for details online or call their local food bank:
Greater Chicago Food Depository....773-247-3663 www.chicagosfoodbank.org Northern Illinois Food Bank........630-443-6910 www.northernilfoodbank.org Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.....219-980-1777 www.foodbanknwi.org
Jewel-Osco, a SUPERVALU company, operates 185 stores in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. With a market-leading position in Chicago, Jewel-Osco stores offer consumers the convenience of combined grocery and pharmacy retail, in addition to services such as fuel centers at select locations. Originally established in 1899, the company and its associates remain committed to the communities they serve. For more information about Jewel-Osco, please visit www.jewelosco.com or www.oscopharmacy.com.
ABOUT SUPERVALU Inc.
SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest companies in the U.S. grocery channel with estimated annual sales of $45 billion. SUPERVALU holds leading market share positions across the United States with its approximately 2,500 retail grocery locations, including nearly 900 in-store pharmacies. Through the company's nationwide supply chain network, SUPERVALU provides distribution and related logistics support services to more than 2,500 independent retailers and other grocery endpoints across the country. SUPERVALU has approximately 190,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU, visit www.supervalu.com.
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