Fighting Hunger at the Check Out

The annual Check Out Hunger campaign runs from October 18th through November 28th.

Donating to a local charity or food bank at your favorite supermarket or store may seem like a common occurrence today, but in 1993, it was revolutionary. Twenty-seven years ago, Wegmans piloted its first Check Out Hunger campaign and raised over $200,000 for our local food bank partners through donations from customers. The program has raised over $43.2 million since 1993 and annually our stores raise $3.4 million for hunger relief.

“Each year, our customers give generously during this campaign to help end hunger in their neighborhoods,” said Wegmans Community Relations Manager Linda Lovejoy. “The pandemic has heightened demand for the resources available through food banks. All of the agencies we partner with every day depend on our checkout donation programs to fund vital food programs in their communities.”

Beginning October 18th, customers can donate $1, $2, $3, $5, round up their bill, or give any amount at checkout with 100 percent of the proceeds going to each store’s local food bank. The funds raised during this campaign provide support for many different programs run through the local food banks, including emergency food supply boxes for families and seniors, home-delivered meals for vulnerable adults and the disabled, and culinary and life skills training for students so they can earn a living wage in the food service industry.

Providing food for people at risk of hunger is one of our top giving priorities. Every year, in addition to our customer-giving campaigns, we donate over 18.6 million pounds of perishable and non-perishable food to our partner food banks. Each of these umbrella organizations works with hundreds of other agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, and community groups to provide food for essential programs.

When the pandemic hit, many Americans found themselves without a job and turned to local food banks for assistance for the first time. The immediate surge in demand for food put extra strain on the food banks we work so closely with, and we wanted to help. To close the gap before government assistance arrived, on March 26 we donated $4 million across all 47 of our partner food banks in seven states. We knew the best way to support the community at this time was to support the local food banks that can provide food directly to people in need.

“We’re pleased to run this important campaign again this fall,” said Lovejoy. “Food banks are still stretched thin and the contributions from those who can give will go a long way in helping to feed many in need.”

The annual Check Out Hunger campaign runs for six weeks at Wegmans stores in Rochester, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, concluding on November 28th. Our remaining stores will run their campaigns in the winter or spring of 2021. For more information about how our stores make a difference in every community we serve, please visit our website.