Save-A-Lot Holiday Food Campaign well received by public

By Randa Wagner

January 7, 2014

Save-A-Lot food store in Mt. Gilead wanted to perform a community service this holiday season, and came up with a unique way to include their customers.

“We came up with a ‘Have You Ever Been Hungry?’ campaign that ran in all the Geyers stores,” said Store Manager Kevin Houpt. “We’ve never done anything like this before, and the employees really got behind it.”

The store made $10 donation bags that customers could ‘buy’ and to be donated to the five local food banks that serve Morrow County. The bags weigh about 11 pounds each and contain 12 items to make about three meals for a family. Items included were chosen to provide a breakfast, lunch, dinner and a bottle of Sunny D.

From Thanksgiving through Christmas, customers who purchased the bag would peel the label off and could sign their name if they wished or a greeting, and the labels were displayed at Save-A-Lot.

“When we first started, we knew of two food banks, then three, then five - so we will divide them up,” Houpt said of the purchased bags. The program went so well, Houpt said not only would they pursue it next year, but they are thinking of doing it in the summer. They planned to distribute the bags January 2, but the bad weather interrupted that.

The Mt. Gilead store has 22 employees, and Houpt said this was very simple way for the public and employees to support the food pantries.

“It was something we came together to do to be active in the community.”