The Continuous Gift of Giving

For years, Shoppers grocery store in Dumfries has been one of our many advocates who want to end hunger for our neighbors in Prince William County. They have continued to help us in our mission by promoting their $5 Bag Campaign, and it has tremendously helped the clients that visit our food pantry throughout the year. The campaign itself is very simple; when customers visit Shoppers and donate $5 at checkout, Shoppers fills a bag with food worth the same price, and donates it right back to ACTS' Food Pantry, where our clients can receive them. Each bag is comprised of rice, macaroni, tomatoes, tuna, and 2 cans of vegetables, and it's a very quick and inexpensive way to make a difference for those that are hungry in our area.

This morning, our food pantry manager Melissa Napora met with Shopper’s bookkeeper Sandy Oudeh to talk about how the store has supported ACTS by promoting their $5 Bag Campaign, as well as how the store's customers have responded to this wonderful act of giving: 

Melissa: Why does Shoppers support ACTS?
Sandy: We support ACTS’ food pantry because it’s a good cause for those in need. It’s a local agency, and people like to donate because it’s local. Surprisingly, some people don’t know about the services that ACTS offers, and this is a good way of promoting one of the programs the organization provides.
Melissa: Why do you run the $5 Bag Campaign all year long?
Sandy: It’s our way of continuing to help support our community. We have donors that come in weekly who buy anywhere from 2 to 30 bags at a time, or give us $100 to go towards filling the $5 bags. After the holidays, however, this tends to slow down.
Melissa: Have you received any feedback from your customers about the campaign?
Sandy: We have received a lot of positive feedback from our customers, and they like it because this offers them the chance to give back to the community. After they find out about the bags, it creates an interest into what ACTS does in the community, and they quickly realize that ordinary people can really make a big difference easily. During the summer months, we typically run a back-to-school supplies campaign in place of the $5 bags, and a lot of people often ask, “When are you bringing back the ACTS bags?” Because of this, there’s a considerable amount of excitement about them. 
Melissa: How does the staff feel about the partnership between ACTS and your store?
Sandy: Our staff is happy to assist in any way they can, and are pleased with our partnership with your organization. The bags are normally put together during the evening shift, and our front end associates are normally responsible for them. They’ve never complained about it and are always happy to assist.

ACTS is very grateful for our community partner, and for the support we receive from the store's customers year around. Last year, Shoppers donated 25,153.26 pounds of food, and thanks to individuals, faith organizations, and businesses like Shoppers, the Food Pantry provided food for 25,051 individuals, (13,893 adults and 11,158 children.) which amounted to about 7,700 families receiving food assistance. We're here to make sure that no family goes without a breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and Shoppers provides us with another example of how giving our community is to it's neighbors. To see how you can help, please visit this link for more information, and if you're in the neighborhood and need some last minute dinner options at an affordable price, please visit Shoppers at their location at 4174 Fortuna Village Center Plaza, Dumfries, VA 22025.