What are supermarkets doing to give back this Christmas?

It’s the season of giving, and after a year that saw consumers grow increasing mindful of sustainability and the ethics tied to their grocery shopping, many will be wondering what their local retailer is doing to give back to their communities this Christmas.

Here’s a snapshot of what the biggest grocery retailers in Australia are doing to support charities this festive season.

IGA shines a light on Vision Australia

Supermarket chain IGA is sponsoring Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight, which will be held in Melbourne on Christmas Eve. As the official Christmas Partner, IGA will support the annual Christmas fundraiser to help those who are blind or have low vision to live the life they choose.

Tony Ingpen, owner of IGA Mt Evelyn and deputy chair of the Victorian IGA Board, said IGA is thrilled to support such an important cause.

IGA is sponsoring Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight

“We’re passionate about giving back to those in need, no matter the circumstances, which is why we’re thrilled to be involved in an event which gives back to Vision Australia, a charity that is extremely close to my heart. My father was legally blind for the last 15 years of his life and Vision Australia played an important role in helping him to lead a normal fulfilling life,” Ingpen said.

IGA stores are continue to sell $2 gift token to support communities devastated by drought. Funds raised go to St Vincent de Paul Society and Drought Angels.

Aldi offers surplus food to those in need

Over 80 Aldi stores will participate in a Christmas food rescue program to ensure surplus food goes to those in need over the holidays.

While the retailer works with food rescue partners year round, many close over the Christmas period meaning excess food can go to waste. Through its existing charity partners Aldi has identified local charities that remain open over the period and can receive food between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.

Those stores without a charity collection during this period will store surplus perishable foods to be donated in the New Year.

“To avoid unsold food from going to waste, every Aldi store in Australia is linked to one or more food rescue partners, including OzHarvest, Foodbank and SecondBite,” Aldi said in a statement.

“In 2018, we donated 4,077 tonnes of quality surplus food to our food rescue partners. That’s the equivalent of 8.15 million meals or 40,000 full shopping trolleys. We are humbled at the chance to provide food to those in need at this time of year.”

Coles fundraising campaign gives back to farmers

Supermarket giant Coles is running a five-week fundraising campaign, ‘Thank you’, which involves the sale of $2 donation cards to support the Country Women’s Association, Redkite and SecondBite.

“Coles research shows more than one in three of Australia’s shoppers intend to donate cash to charity this Christmas,” a spokesperson for Coles told Inside FMCG.

“All funds raised will be split evenly between Redkite, which supports children and young people with cancer, SecondBite, which provides meals to those who need it most and the Country Women’s Association, which helps farming families affected by drought.”

Coles also partners with food rescue organisations SecondBite and FoodBank to donate unsold edible food from 784 supermarkets to more than 1300 community groups.

The Coles Online team members have packed and delivered more than 1000 boxes of grocery essentials, such as pasta, coffee and cereal, to SecondBite for people in need this Christmas.

Woolworths supports bushfire communities

Woolworths is working closely with Natural Disaster Partner The Salvation Army to support communities impacted by the ongoing bushfires this Christmas.

Woolworths has made a $500,000 donation for bushfire response efforts and are collecting for The Salvation Army at checkouts in all supermarkets around Australia.

The retailer told Inside FMCG that its customers have donated more than $670,000 to fire recovery efforts to date.

In addition, Woolworths OzHarvest Christmas appeal encourages customers to purchase a 50 cent meal token to help feed a person in need.

The campaign started last month and runs until December 24.

“While Christmas can be a magical time for many of our customers, for those Australians not knowing how they are putting food on the Christmas table, it can also be an incredibly daunting time. The Appeal is so important, and together with our customers, we can all play a role in making a difference,” Woolworths Supermarkets managing director, Claire Peters said.

Through the appeal and through donations of fresh produce from Woolworths stores, OzHarvest, aims to deliver meals to more than 1,300 charities.

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