The GIANT Company is committing a total of $597,000 to fund the mobile pantry, including a donation of $325,000 in 2023 in honor of its 100th anniversary to cover startup costs for the initiative. Expected to launch in early 2024, the mobile food pantry will aim to provide fresh, healthy food to 75 households in its first year.
“We’re grateful to The GIANT Company and CSO for their collaboration in bringing healthy food to underserved communities,” said Nancy Lawton-Kluck, Geisinger’s chief philanthropy officer. “It’s a privilege to work with community leaders who share our values as we contribute to healthier, more vibrant neighborhoods.”
According to the state Department of Human Services, more than a million Pennsylvanians were food insecure in 2022.
Geisinger screens patients to understand their social needs, including food insecurity, and gets them connected to local community resources. Among Geisinger patients who have taken an adult social needs screening, nearly 10,500 have worried they would run out of food before having resources to buy more, and more than 3,800 have reported the same concern across Columbia, Montour, Northumberland and Snyder counties.
As an extension of Geisinger’s food-is-health strategy designed to help people with challenges accessing healthy food live well and manage diet-responsive conditions, the client-choice mobile food pantry will launch in targeted underserved areas. The mobile unit will be available for anyone in the community in need of food assistance.
The mobile food pantry is the latest in a long list of projects for which The GIANT Company has partnered with Geisinger to improve health and quality of life for local communities. This includes previous commitments to the Fresh Food Farmacy program, Children’s Miracle Network and Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. In total, The GIANT Company has given more than $8.5 million to Geisinger programs, facilities and initiatives.
“Reducing food insecurity, increasing access to healthy foods and promoting nutrition is a priority for The GIANT Company,” said Nick Koch, Head of Wellbeing for The GIANT Company. “When Geisinger approached us with their idea for a mobile food pantry to help address these issues in their community, we knew we wanted to be a part of it. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this life-changing program will have on families across the central Susquehanna Valley.”
CSO, a community action agency for Columbia, Montour and Northumberland counties, will staff the unit with a community health worker, driver and volunteers, and the pantry will also provide nutrition education and referrals to Geisinger for any clinical care needs. CSO is a partner agency of the Central PA Food Bank.
Because 37% of Geisinger patients who reported food insecurity also identified more than one social need, Neighborly, an easy-to-use online search tool for free and reduced-cost community resources will be available on kiosks or mobile devices at distribution sites. To learn more about Neighborly, visit neighborlypa.com.
The GIANT Company’s 100th anniversary celebration efforts honor team members, customers and the communities it serves. Building on its century-long commitment to grow strong, healthy communities, philanthropy is a cornerstone of the company’s anniversary celebration. It is building its legacy by making donations and participating in volunteer activities aligned with its purpose of connecting families for a better future through efforts to eliminate hunger, change children’s lives, heal the planet, promote wellbeing and foster a culture of inclusion and belonging.
To learn more about how The GIANT Company is supporting the communities it serves, visit giantfoodstores.com/pages/our-purpose.
About The GIANT Company
The GIANT Company believes that no matter where or how, when meals happen, families connect, and when families connect meaningfully, good happens. Guided by its brand platform, For Today’s Table®, the omnichannel retailer proudly serves millions of neighbors across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and New Jersey. With more than 35,000 talented team members supporting 193 stores, 133 pharmacies, 107 fuel stations, and over 180 online pickup hubs and grocery delivery service in hundreds of zip codes, The GIANT Company is changing the customer experience and connecting families for a better future. Founded in 1923 in Carlisle, Pa., The GIANT Company family of brands includes GIANT, MARTIN’S, GIANT Heirloom Market, GIANT Direct and MARTIN’S Direct. The GIANT Company is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA. For more information, visit the GIANT or MARTIN’S websites.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.