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Brighton Center Partners With Major Grocer to Fight Hunger in NKY

This afternoon, the Brighton Center announced a partnership with Meijer to provide much-needed hunger relief to local families through the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer’s customer-driven food pantry donation program, Simply Give, this spring.

Each Meijer Simply Give campaign replenishes the shelves of more than 200 food pantries in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The program encourages customers to purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards, which are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to a local food pantry in the store’s community.

Meijer has designated April 17 and 18 as Double Match Days. Every $10 Simply Give donation card purchased on these days will be matched at $20 by Meijer resulting in a $30 total donation to Brighton Center.

“Your support of Brighton Center’s food pantry not only meets the immediate hunger needs of families but it also provides a solid ground for building a path to a brighter future,” said Talia Frey, Family Center Director at Brighton Center.

Brighton Center’s Food Pantry will benefit from donation cards purchased at the Florence Meijer at 4990 Houston Road now through May 11. Cards are available at the store or for pick-up at Brighton Center but must be activated at Meijer.

For the fourth consecutive year, Meijer will contribute at least $1 million to the 2015 Simply Give program. The Simply Give program runs three times a year: spring, fall and holiday. Since the program began in November 2008, nearly $14 million has been generated for food pantries in the Midwest to distribute to our hungry neighbors.

“Today’s food pantries are in a desperate struggle to keep up with the flood of requests they receive daily,” said Janet Emerson, executive vice president of retail operations for Meijer. “The Simply Give program is a way for Meijer customers to partner with Meijer and support the food banks and pantries that provide food to the hungry families in the communities we serve. We certainly couldn’t do it without the support and commitment of our generous customers and team members, who stand beside us in this effort.”

Last year alone, Brighton Center served 3,188 families through Family Support services which includes the Choice Food Pantry. Family Support’s vision is to assist families to move from crisis, to stability, to self-sufficiency. Family Support provides the critical family and work supports (basic needs and stable housing) families need on their journey to self-sufficiency. Specifically, Family Support services include comprehensive Emergency Assistance (EA) services: Choice Food Pantry, clothing, personal hygiene items, diapers, furniture, household items, and financial assistance. Those requesting Emergency Assistance services such as the Choice Food Pantry meet individually with Family Resource Advocates who use a family assessment tool to identify barriers to self-sufficiency, and works with families to develop individualized action plans to overcome those barriers. 

Brighton Center’s food pantry is unique in that it is designated a Choice Food Pantry. One of Brighton Center’s core values is that “All families and individuals know their situation better than anyone and are able to examine choices and make decisions that will affect their lives.” The Choice Food Pantry gives families the opportunity to decide what foods are best for their family. 

- Staff report