With Gratitude, We Celebrate You this Holiday Season

For so many people and for so many reasons, 2020 has been a difficult year. Yet, we’ve seen amazing generosity from our customers, and an unwavering commitment from our community partners to serve the needs of our neighbors. For this, we find ourselves unbelievably grateful. This fall and winter, our customers donated more than $3.2 million through our annual checkout scanning campaigns, benefitting our local food bank partners in participating markets, the Salvation Army (central Virginia), United Way (Buffalo and Southern Tier, NY), and the Rescue Mission (Syracuse, NY). Together, we've raised and donated nearly $13 million to help those in need in 2020.
“The generosity and care our customers have shown for one another and their communities during this time of increased need has been incredible,” says Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Wegmans Food Markets. “Whether it’s donating $.50 or $5 at checkout, every contribution makes a difference. Through the kindness of our customers and the ongoing work of local non-profit organizations, so many in our neighborhoods have food on their tables, roofs over their heads, and the support they need. We are filled with gratitude for our amazing customers, employees, and charitable partners. Thank you for all you do, today and every day.”
Here are just a few ways your thoughtful giving has made a positive impact in your neighbors’ lives: Maryland Food Bank Emily, now retired and a former volunteer at 40 West, a Maryland Food Bank Network Partner, never expected to be on the receiving end of the food bank’s services. “Everyone thinks that this is something you never would have to do for yourself, but times change. And I’m thankful that the Maryland Food Bank is able to help people like me.”
“Everyone thinks that this is something you never would have to do for yourself." Photo courtesy of Maryland Food Bank

Katrina, her husband, and their four girls have turned to their local food pantry in Severna Park, MD for some basic needs as their hours at work have been cut due to COVID-19. “The food we get really stretches for the whole week, especially the produce and fruits. Those are the things that we really look forward to.”

Katrina and her daughter pickup groceries at their local food pantry in Severna Park, MD. Photo courtesy of Maryland Food Bank

FeedMore WNY
Allyson, a 9/11 survivor, relies on a fixed Social Security Disability income after medical problems from that tragic day ended her 25-year career as a substance abuse and domestic violence counselor. After paying living expenses, there’s little money left for groceries, so she turns to her local food pantry. “Community Missions gives you stuff that’s healthy and that you can really make meals out of. It’s plentiful. It’s helped us tremendously. It’s helped us in a dire time.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, Allyson has been especially grateful to donors for continuing to make food available through FeedMore’s partner agencies.

Food Bank of South Jersey
“Losing my job this year was devastating. I never thought I would need help feeding my family, but this year I did. I am thankful for the food bank and I realize now the impact the food bank makes on our community.”

Rescue Mission
After leaving an unhealthy relationship and moving back to New York with her son, Elizabeth found herself in an emergency shelter for women and children with nowhere to go. After 94 days in the shelter, Elizabeth’s application to the Auburn Rescue Mission was approved. With the help of the Rescue Mission and her caseworker, Elizabeth and her son are now living in an apartment and she’s found a job she loves at a nearby childcare center. Elizabeth is thankful for all of the people who have supported the Rescue Mission, whether through financial donations or volunteer work. “It is put towards a good cause,” she says. The Rescue Mission does really want to see you succeed, make positive changes, and be happy. I am thankful for everything that I have here. Lots and lots to be grateful for.”

Celebrating the Season “Together”

As we’re all being asked to stay home and limit our interactions with others, community organizations across our markets have been working hard to create holiday experiences that bring the community safely together and keep the holiday spirit alive during these difficult times.

“After a year like 2020, it means so much to so many to be able to participate in an annual tradition or find a new way to celebrate the holiday season,” says Linda Lovejoy, Wegmans community relations manager. “The continued efforts of these organizations to serve their communities and go above and beyond to spread cheer is inspiring. We are so thankful for all they do; it’s a privilege to lend our continued support and help make these events possible.”

Lights on the Lake
A longstanding tradition in Central New York, Lights on the Lake offers a two-mile drive-thru show of towering holiday lights displays in Onondaga Lake Park in Syracuse, NY.

Holiday Lights at the Beach
Annual traditions live on at Virginia Beach’s Holiday Lights as the Beach, where residents can enjoy a festive drive down the boardwalk through a spectacular display of holiday lights.

Legendary Santa
A Richmond, Virginia tradition since 1936, Legendary Santa returns to the Children’s Museum of Richmond for the 2020 season with new social-distancing measures in place, as well as a virtual option.

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert
In the 25th year of Wegmans sponsoring the RPO’s Holiday Pops Concert for employees, the Rochester, NY tradition will now extend to all 53,000 employees, who can enjoy an exclusive, free, virtual recording of the 2020 concert. The performance will feature Robert B. Wegman’s reading of The Night Before Christmas and take a look back at holiday events from years past in celebration of the milestone anniversary.

We often say communities thrive when we all work together, and 2020 is a prime example of how true that is.