Help for Local Non-Profits: It’s in the Bag

SEPTEMBER 13, 2019- For several years, a nearly countless number of school PTAs, local Little Leagues and other small community organizations and hunger relief agencies have been receiving donations from a first-of-its-kind initiative known as the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program. The program recently hit a milestone when it surpassed $1 million in total donations.

“That may not sound like a huge number, considering the massive scope of Hannaford’s charitable giving … until you consider that many of these are small, hyperlocal organizations scrapping hard for funding,’ said Community Relations Manager Sherri Stevens. “Our store associates have done an amazing job building deeper connections with their communities through this program.”

The $1M milestone is the result of thousands of donations of a few hundred dollars or less since the initiative launched. It was created in partnership with a Portsmouth, New Hampshire, organization known as PS It Matters that helps administer the program, which raises money by selling reusable Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger and Hannaford Helps Community shopping bags. Here’s how it works:

Each month, associates at every Hannaford store choose one hunger relief agency and one other non-profit near their location to be recipients of proceeds from the sale of the shopping bags. The bags, which cost $2.50 apiece, are displayed on racks bearing signage indicating the beneficiaries. Tags attached to the bags explain the program. For every bag sold, $1 is donated. For hunger relief organizations, that equates to 10 meals.

When an organization is named a beneficiary, it encourages community members to shop Hannaford and purchase bags to support their mission.
The program launched with sales of Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger bags in April 2014. Its success prompted the addition of the Hannaford Helps Community Bags, sold for the first time m October 2015.

“We learned through this program that our customers are willing to pay more because they know they’re supporting their communities. It’s a convenient way for them to impact their communities by helping organizations like PTAs that otherwise get few donations. And in the process, it helps the environment and our sales.”

Nearly 1. 7M bags benefiting over 4,500 non-profits have been sold so far. You can find more information about the program and its impact on the community here.