ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- BJ's Wholesale Club today announced a $100,000 donation from the BJ's Charitable Foundation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, a Feeding America® member food bank. The donation will help Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida's agency partners increase their capacity to distribute perishable food across the region.
BJ's grant to Second Harvest is part of BJ's Charitable Foundation's $1 million donation to Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Second Harvest is one of nine local food banks to benefit from BJ's $1 million donation, which is the foundation's largest single donation to any organization to date.
"BJ's is bringing a fresh approach to nourishing communities and helping families thrive, and we're proud to support Second Harvest," said Kirk Saville, executive director of the BJ's Charitable Foundation. "No one should have to worry about where to get their next meal, and we know that food banks face challenges in storing and distributing perishable foods. Our strategic partnership with Feeding America is focused on building capacity for fresh food at local food banks so we can work together to put an end to hunger in our communities."
With BJ's $100,000 grant, Second Harvest will purchase equipment, including freezers, refrigerators, pallet jacks, reusable grocery bags and forklift scales, to help its agency partners expand their cold storage capacity and increase the efficiency of distributing larger amounts of fresh produce. Additionally, Second Harvest and its agency partners will be able to donate and distribute significantly greater amounts of food in high need areas across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard and Volusia Counties.
Last year, Second Harvest distributed 52 million meals to partners programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women's shelters, senior centers, day care centers and Kids Cafes. In addition to feeding neighbors in need, Second Harvest offers a 14-week culinary training program to economically-challenged adults to place them in stable jobs and help them build a healthy financial future for their families.
"At Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, we strive to create hope and nourish lives through a powerful hunger relief network of 550 feeding partners, while multiplying the generosity of our caring community," said Dave Krepcho, President & CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. "Because of BJ's generous donation, Second Harvest will be able to continue fighting hunger and feeding hope by distributing fresh, healthy food to Floridians in need."
Since 2009, BJ's has provided ongoing support to Feeding America through the BJ's Charitable Foundation and BJ's Feeding Communities® program, helping local food banks successfully expand their programs to reach wider and more diverse audiences.
In addition to capacity building grants from the BJ's Charitable Foundation, BJ's has secured over 50 million pounds of donated food, including fresh produce, frozen meats and fish, baked goods and dairy items through the BJ's Feeding Communities® program.
About BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc.
Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, BJ's is the leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States. The company currently operates 215 clubs and 132 BJ's Gas® locations in 16 states.
BJ's provides a one-stop shopping destination filled with top-quality, leading brands, including its exclusive Wellsley Farms® and Berkley Jensen® brands, along with USDA Choice meats, premium produce and delicious organics, many in supermarket sizes. BJ's is also the only major membership warehouse club to accept all manufacturers' coupons and, for greater convenience, offers the most payment options.
BJ's is wholly owned by affiliates of Leonard Green & Partners, CVC Capital Partners and its management team.
About Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
SHFBCF is a member of Feeding America – the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. SHFBCF secures and distributes food and grocery products to approximately 550 local nonprofit feeding programs throughout Central Florida. Last year, with the help of food and financial donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributed 52 million meals to partner programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women's shelters, senior centers, day care centers and Kids Cafes. In addition, Second Harvest's 14-week culinary program teaches foodservice-based technical, life and employability skills to economically hard-pressed adults. Our community turns to Second Harvest's partner agencies more than 71,000 times per week. To learn more about SHFBCF, visit www.FeedHopeNow.org.
About Feeding America®
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the Unites States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry.
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SOURCE BJ's Wholesale Club