Recently, I had the opportunity to ride-along with one of our Grocery Alliance Program drivers, Jose. We left the food bank just as the sun was coming up, on a mission to collect food from 6 of our retail donors: Walmart, Publix, Target, Winn Dixie, Sam’s Club and BJ’s. Every Monday through Friday, a fleet of refrigerated trucks picks up donations from all of our participating retail stores – accounting for over 1 million pounds of food each month.
The food that we receive from our retail donors, your local grocery stores, is unsalable yet consumable. What makes Grocery Alliance products so vital is the variety of high quality, nutritious foods that we receive: produce, meat, dairy, bakery and non-perishables are all part of the GA product mix.
As we arrived at each store, we pulled into the designated loading dock and were greeted by the store’s receiver, or a member of management. Donations are boxed and separated into categories prior to our arrival, then weighed inside our trucks. Throughout the day, we stopped at a total of 14 different retail locations and collected 6,500 pounds of food — and we were only 1 of 10 Grocery Alliance trucks on the road! Once back at food bank, the donations are is inspected, sorted and then distributed shortly after their arrival to our feeding partners, which is pretty amazing if you ask me!
While on the road, I asked Jose what he likes best about his job at Second Harvest Food Bank. He responded with, “I love being able to interact with different people every day and I enjoy helping others.”
It’s great to know that our favorite grocery stores are giving back to our neighbors in need. We want to give a HUGE thanks to our 300+ individual retail donors for their continued commitment to ending hunger in Central Florida!
Grocery Alliance Program Coordinator