Second Harvest Food Bank Receives BJ’s Charitable Foundation Grant to Fight Hunger

Thirty Grants Given to Celebrate BJ’s Wholesale Club’s 30th Anniversary and Increase Local Capacity 

Allentown, PA. September 11, 2014 – Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania announced Monday they’ll be one of 30 food banks to be awarded grants this September from BJ’s Charitable Foundation. The foundation is distributing grants in celebration of BJ’s Wholesale Club’s 30th anniversary. A member of the Feeding America network, Second Harvest Food Bank is among those awarded gifts to increase the food storage capacity for local anti-hunger organizations.

While food banks often have immense space and storage to provide product for the food pantries and shelters they support, these smaller partner organizations and charities often have limited equipment abilities. Limited equipment hinders their ability to serve the community. By providing anti-hunger partners like food pantries, shelters and meal programs with the necessary equipment, they can transport and store a larger amount of perishable items and thus distribute more food to local families struggling with food insecurity.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded one of the 30th anniversary grants by BJ’s Charitable Foundation,” said Ann McManus, Director of Second Harvest.  “Because of this grant, we will be able to work with our local partners to help them obtain more healthful foods and ensure that food makes it into the hands of more Lehigh Valley neighbors in need.”

Second Harvest Food Bank will utilize the award to provide more than 20 of its partner agencies with additional freezer and refrigerator equipment and foresees a 50% increase in the distribution of perishable product by those agencies, including fresh produce, dairy, and meats.

“BJ’s Wholesale Club is proud to reach our 30-year milestone and share our enthusiasm by expanding our role in the fight against hunger,” said Gary Sutton, Regional Operations Manager of BJ’s Wholesale Club.  “Supporting Second Harvest Food Bank and their local agencies’ need for capacity building will ensure that perishable food can reach the people who need it most in our own backyard.

The BJ’s Charitable Foundation $21,000 grant to Second Harvest Food Bank is being awarded during September as the non-profit is also observing Hunger Action Month™. Hunger Action Month is a nationwide campaign, founded by the leading domestic hunger-relief organization Feeding America, to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger in America.  Second Harvest Food Bank will be working within the community on a variety of local Hunger Action Month activities.

The added local capacity provided by this grant comes on the heels of the national Hunger in America 2014 study announcement that one in seven Americans, more than 46 million people including 12 million children, rely on food pantries and meal service programs.

 About Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley & Northeast Pennsylvania

Second Harvest Food Bank distributes food and grocery product to more than 72,000 people in need each month through a network of more than 200 member agencies in Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, and Wayne counties.  These agencies include emergency pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, child-care and rehabilitation centers.  Last year, Second Harvest distributed nearly 7 million pounds of food to people in need through these organizations.  As part of its mission, the Food Bank also provides resources for education and advocacy to end hunger.

Second Harvest Food Bank is a program of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) and is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network and largest hunger relief organization.

About BJ’s Wholesale Club

BJ’s is dedicated to providing Members with high-quality, brand-name food and merchandise at prices that are significantly lower than supermarkets, supercenters, department stores, drug stores and specialty retail stores.  BJ’s carries the most product variety of any Membership club with more than 7,000 items, including supermarket-sized staples, USDA Choice meats and stock-up items, as well as all-natural and organic products. BJ’s is the only membership club to accept all manufacturers’ coupons and for greater convenience, offers the most payment options including EBT.

Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. is a leading operator of warehouse clubs in the eastern United States.  The Company currently operates 203 clubs and in 15 eastern states.  Learn more and shop online at www.BJs.com or, for exclusive content visit Facebook.com/bjswholesaleclub and Twitter.com/bjswholesale.

About BJ’s Charitable Foundation

BJ’s Charitable Foundation was established with the mission to enrich every community BJ’s Wholesale Clubs serve. The Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that primarily benefit the underprivileged in the area of basic needs (hunger prevention, self-sufficiency, education and health). For more information about BJ’s Charitable Foundation, please visit, www.bjs.com/charity/.

 Contact: Sharon Alexander, (610)434-0875, salexander@caclv.org 

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