From left, Rob Carpino, assistant store manager; Elizabeth Gilchrist, bookkeeper; Karen Watts (contest winner), playhouse manager; Christine Magyarits, community relations manager; Joe Colalillo, owner; Mike Jacob, store manager; and Tracy Nolan (contest winner), assistant front end manager at the ShopRite in Yardley, PA earlier this month.
Published in Yardley Voice
Times Publishing Newspapers, Inc.
Thousands of ShopRite associates across six states banded together last September during Hunger Action Month in a friendly annual competition to help feed the needy.
ShopRite associates collected donations and held events in stores as part of their Partners In Caring Cheerios Contest with a theme of “The Power of One.”
Each associate in ShopRite stores contributed to the collection, often asking customers to ‘round up’ their purchase to the nearest dollar at check-out.
“Wherever you were (working) throughout the store, you made a difference,” said Christine Magyarits, community relations manager at ShopRite of Yardley.
“You were part of what we have on the (Cheerios) box as our theme – ‘One Team, One Passion, One Purpose’ – fighting hunger in the community.”
Together, ShopRite associates helped raise $1.5 million during the contest.
This money will be given back to the community, aiding places such as Philabundance, a collaborative organization that distributes more than 24 million pounds of food a year to those in need.
ShopRite and General Mills recognized store associates with a prized spot on a special-edition Cheerios box, and each of the 40 top winning stores chose two ShopRite associates to be featured as “hunger-fighting heroes” on the iconic cereal box.
The customized cereal boxes, sold exclusively at ShopRite, were unveiled at in-store celebrations during the month of March. Tracy Nolan, of Bristol, assistant front end manager, and Karen Watts, of Levittown, playhouse manager, were the featured associates from ShopRite of Yardley.
“This (contest) is a great way to raise awareness as well as funds,” said Joe Colalillo, owner of five ShopRite stores in the area including ShopRite of Yardley and ShopRite of Bethlehem, two of the ‘top 40’ winners in Pennsylvania. “Raising awareness (to hunger in the community) is as important as raising money.”
Each winning store also received prize money ($3,000 for the top five stores, and $500 for the remaining winning stores) that will be donated to local food pantries chosen by the respective store teams.
ShopRite Partners In Caring is a year-round, community-based, hunger-fighting initiative that works with more than 50 food industry manufacturers to provide $3 million annually to qualified charitable agencies.
Since its inception almost 20 years ago in 1999, ShopRite Partners In Caring has donated $44 million to more than 2,200 charities.
ShopRite Partners In Caring supports emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, childcare centers, battered women’s shelters, senior citizen programs, drug rehab centers, programs for the mentally and physically disabled, after-school programs and other organizations that aid those in need.
For more information or to learn how you can help, visit www.shopritepartnersincaring.org.