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Food and Toys Donated to Local Causes

In a chain-wide effort to help the less fortunate within their local communities, Big Y's 7th annual Sack Hunger/Care To Share Program brought 18,799 bags of food to local charities and their second annual Toys for Tots drive brought $13,600 worth of toys to needy children. Sack Hunger bags are large brown reusable grocery bags filled with staple non- perishable food items for local food banks. Customers purchase a Sack Hunger bag of groceries for $10 and Big Y distributes the food to that region's local food bank. In turn, the food banks distribute the filled "sacks" to area soup kitchens, food pantries, senior food programs, daycare centers as well as many of their other member agencies. All of the donated sacks are distributed within the supermarket's marketing area so every donation stays within the local community. Since its inception seven years ago, over 112,000 bags have been donated to area needy via Big Y's Sack Hunger Program. This year's Sack Hunger ran from November 10th through December 31st.

According to Charles L. D'Amour, president and COO, "Our Sack Hunger program makes it easy to provide nutritious, non-perishable staple food to those less fortunate within our community. We are grateful to our customers who helped to support our friends and neighbors in need. In fact, all of their donated food has already been distributed to our area food banks."

All five food banks within Big Y's marketing area participated in Sack Hunger. These food banks represent over 2,100 member agencies throughout the region. They are the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, The Greater Boston Food Bank, Worcester County Food Bank, Foodshare of Greater Hartford, and The Connecticut Food Bank.

As an additional option this year, customers were able to purchase and donate a $10 "Virtual Bags" that were used by the agencies to purchase turkeys or whatever is most needed. Online donations were also accepted.

The sacks included the following non-perishable Big Y items: apple sauce, corn flakes, creamy peanut butter, tuna, kidney beans, green beans, whole kernel corn, quick oats, elbow macaroni, and sweet peas. Sacks were available at all 70 Big Y Supermarkets and Fresh Acres. In addition to its sixth year of the Sack Hunger program, 2016 also marked the second year that Big Y Foods participated in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Toys were collected in special bins at every Big Y location, resulting in a donation of $13,600 worth of toys that were delivered to the Marines.

According to the USMC, "The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted." "The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens."