ShopRite’s annual Help Bag Hunger program fights food insecurity, marking 20 years of ShopRite Partners In Caring.

September was Hunger Action Month and, as it does each year, ShopRite put a special focus on raising awareness around food insecurity in the communities our stores serve. Those efforts are proving to be especially critical in 2020, with many people struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While some fundraising events looked a little different this year due to social distancing protocols, many stores partnered once again with local community leaders to ‘Help Bag Hunger’ by bagging groceries at checkout to raise awareness and funds.

The Help Bag Hunger event is part of the annual fall fundraising drive for ShopRite Partners In Caring (SRPIC) – a year-round, community-based, hunger-fighting initiative that works with more than 50 food industry manufacturers to provide $3 million annually to qualified charitable agencies in all states where ShopRite stores operate.

This year marks SRPIC’s two decades of work to stamp out hunger. Since its inception in 1999, SRPIC has donated $50 million to more than 2,200 charities on the front lines fighting hunger.

According to USDA data and Feeding America, food insecurity rates could potentially climb from more than 37 million people facing hunger in 2018 up to more than 54 million in 2020. ShopRite donated $1 million in April to 32 regional Feeding America food banks to help with the initial spike in need due to the pandemic.

In addition, SRPIC donates 60 tons of turkey each year during the holiday season, and over 250 million meals have helped feed the hungry.

“Giving back and supporting our local communities are values that are ingrained in our ShopRite culture, and we are proud of the impact we have made in fighting food insecurity,” said Rob Zuehlke, ShopRite’s manager of Corporate Social Responsibility. “We look forward to building upon the momentum of the last 20 years to drive further our hunger-fighting efforts to help people who are hurting during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.”