GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Midwest retailer Meijer is supporting United Way literacy programs across the Midwest through a new partnership with Better World Books that allows customers to drop off unwanted used books in drop boxes stationed at 164 Meijer parking lots, Meijer Properties, Real Estate and Procurement Senior Vice President Julie Croll announced today.
Collected books will then be sold online, with a portion of each sale going to local United Way agencies. Books that cannot be sold are donated to promote literacy, or recycled to cut down on energy and environmental waste.
"We are excited to begin this partnership with Better World Books because it provides another way for Meijer to continue its long-standing support of the United Way," Croll said. "Not only does this provide a service to our customers, who are looking for a place to drop their used books, it gives them an opportunity to help support their local community."
Better World Books, an e-retailer and social enterprise company, gives each partnering landowner a portion of the revenue it receives after selling the collected books. The landowner is then required to share a part of those proceeds with a local literacy- or education-based charity.
Meijer understands how important it is to support the communities where its customers and team members work and live, which is why it's donating all the proceeds to United Way literacy programs across the Midwest. Meijer expects to donate $125,000 each year to an estimated 50 local United Way agencies in the communities where the Meijer drop boxes are located.
"One of the most serious challenges our community faces right now concerns education," Heart of West Michigan United Way President/CEO Maureen Noe said. "Kids who can't read are often the ones who eventually drop out of school, so United Way's focus on literacy ensures kids are reading at grade level. The support from the Meijer-Better World Books partnership will help us ensure struggling students achieve the reading skills they need to move ahead."
Meijer began its partnership with Better World Books a year ago at four Meijer stores in Indiana. More than 7,000 books were collected during the four-month pilot program, resulting in a variety of energy and environmental savings, including:
- Book Pounds: 9,937 pounds
- Trees: 113
- Water: 55,870 gallons
- Green House Gas: 15,391 pounds
- Landfill Space: 14 cubic yards
- Electricity: 23,777 kwh
Meijer rolled the program out to 164 stores across the Midwest in October and expects to collect more than 1 million books each year. The program is expected to annually save:
- Book Pounds: Nearly 1.5 million pounds
- Trees: Nearly 17,000
- Water: Nearly 8.3 million
- Green House Gas: More than 2.2 million pounds
- Landfill Space: More than 2,000 cubic yards
- Electricity: More than 3.2 million kwh
"We are impressed with how Meijer continues to expand its support of local communities and are proud to be a partner in their support of United Way," Better World Books Vice President of Community Dustin Holland said. "This partnership is another exciting step to promote local and global literacy."
About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 199 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the "one-stop shopping" concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer and the ability to shop for more can be found at www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.