On Friday, November 18th, The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana held an awareness event at Strack and Van Til stores all over Northwest Indiana. Food Bank representatives informed shoppers that Strack and Van Til was holding a Round Up promotion to aid the food bank. Customers, regardless of payment methods, can choose to have their purchases rounded up to the nearest dollar. All funds from the Round Up program will go directly to aiding the local Food Bank.
“We’re encouraging shoppers to give generously, and with the Round Up program giving generously could be 10, 20, maybe 30 cents at a time,” said Chris Bengston, Strack and Van Til’s Vice President of Public Relations. “With the Round Up program it's really all strength in numbers and when we get everyone to jump in we usually see some great things happen.”
In addition to the Round Up program, Strack’s and the Food Bank are also making the Bag-A-Meal program available to customers. At the front of each Strack and Van Till store is a brown bag with a receipt stapled to it. If customers would like to donate more than just the Round Up at the register, they can choose to purchase a bag filled with a full meal to donate to the Food Bank.
“The Bag-A-Meal is something that is in all of our stores in Northwest Indiana. We wanted to have an opportunity for customers who want to do more for the community. With this program, they can purchase a bag of groceries that's made up of $10-$30. And again 100% of what they purchase will go directly to the food bank,” Bengston added.
Representing the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana was Development Manager, Traci Lotfi. A large portion of her position is to assist with fundraising efforts and the cultivation of events.
Lotfi explained the history of the partnership between the Food Bank and Strack and Van Til:
“Soon after the food bank began in 1982, we had to close the doors, because of the tough economy. The community quickly realized how badly we needed the food bank, so Strack and Van Til was actually one of the organizations that stepped in back in the 80s. They told us, ‘we’re going to help you stay open.’ And they helped us reopen the doors and they’ve been a big part of the food bank ever since then!”
Lotfi handed out flyers throughout the event to customers entering the Rt. 30 Strack and Van Til location in Valparaiso. Often after receiving a flyer, customers would stop to learn about the program and the Food Bank.
Frequent Stracks customer, Betsy Thomas, praised the Round Up program:
“It's so simple. You don’t have to dig for change. Or even break a big bill to give. You can do it all with a debit card at the register. It's a great convenience to a great cause, really.” The Food Bank and Strack and Van Till will continue the promotion through November and December. When asked at the register if you want to round up, go ahead and say, “sure.” You’ll be helping many families across Northwest Indiana for as little as 10 cents.