'Food for the Body, Food for the Mind' Teams C&S Wholesale Grocers With Nonprofit First Book Bringing 50,000 Books to Children in Need

Feb 13, 2009, 15:45 ET from First Book

Programs in Southwest New Hampshire Receive New Books

KEENE, N.H., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- C&S Wholesale Grocers and First Book have joined together to give 50,000 new, age-appropriate books to schools and programs serving children in need in the C&S headquarters community of Keene and throughout the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. Through coordinated outreach efforts, First Book brought programs serving children in need permanent access to new books that will continue long after the life of this initiative.

The goal of "Food for the Body, Food for the Mind" was to identify, register and connect nonprofit programs, libraries and schools serving disadvantaged children in southwest N.H. with First Book. Each child involved received three free new books, and the programs and schools gained permanent access to First Book resources. The partnership is a natural one for the two organizations, in that both share an interest in strengthening families, improving communities and breaking the cycle of poverty at both the local and national levels. While C&S distributes food to supermarkets and to food banks across the country, First Book supplies books to enrich young minds.

In addition to schools, programs such as Head Start, food assistance groups, domestic violence shelters, community centers, libraries, nutrition programs and other organizations serving families were identified and received books. The books were distributed in Alstead, Chesterfield, Hillsboro, Hinsdale, Jaffrey, Keene, Laconia, Marlborough, Troy and Westmoreland.

"We find that a steady diet of books nearly triples children's interest in reading, putting them on the path for success later in life," said Kyle Zimmer, president of First Book. "Working in partnership with C&S enabled First Book to reach into communities with a pipeline of books and educational materials that will forever transform the quality of programs serving children in need in Southwest New Hampshire. C&S leads the way in good corporate citizenship and in understanding that, just as children need proper nutrition to grow healthy bodies, they also need books to help grow healthy minds."

"Anytime, but especially now with the economic downturn straining family budgets, 50,000 books is a lot of books for a lot of kids," said Gina Goff, C&S Director of Corporate Giving. "Our focus on New Hampshire follows a similar initiative with First Book in 2007 when we donated 120,000 free books to children in seven C&S communities across the country. What we've accomplished has the potential to inspire children and to change lives."

About First Book

First Book provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy -- access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 60 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities. First Book now has offices in the U.S. and Canada. For more information about the nonprofit First Book, please visit www.firstbook.org or call 866-393-1222.

About C&S Wholesale Grocers

C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. is a privately owned company with annual sales of $19 billion. The company is the 12th largest privately held company in the nation, as ranked by Forbes magazine. Founded in 1918, C&S provides distribution services to grocery chains and independent stores, delivering to more than 5,000 locations from its distribution centers in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, California and Hawaii.

C&S Wholesale Grocers supports initiatives to stop hunger and to promote the health and enrichment of communities that are homes to its employees and facilities. The company's annual Community Involvement Report is available electronically on www.cswg.com

SOURCE First Book