By KAITLYN NAPLES
In an effort to end hunger, Bristol’s ShopRite has been an advocate for helping local organizations and food banks feed the population right in its own backyard.
“We acknowledge that to find hunger, we don’t have to go to countries far, far away; it is right here in our own neighborhoods,” said the owner of the Bristol ShopRite, Paul Tornaquindici.
Last Wednesday, Sept. 18, was declared as “ShopRite Partners In Caring Day,” according to a proclamation Governor Dannel Malloy, and five other governors, issued. September is National Hunger Action Month, so in response to that, ShopRite invited local dignitaries and members from local non-profits to spend some time bagging groceries for ShopRite patrons. Cashiers also were accepting monetary donations from shoppers, which go directly back into the community to help fight hunger.
The Partners In Caring program, which is also sponsored by General Mills, began in 1999 and has raised more than $30 million to local food banks and pantries in the areas ShopRite serves and has donated to 1,700 charities throughout the Northeast.
The program’s mission is to raise funds for the fight against hunger, as well as raise awareness to let the community know that their own neighbors may be part of the population that is utilizing its own food bank. The store raises funds all year long with food sales, cook-outs. and donations collected at the cash register when patrons are finished shopping.
“ShopRite is such a good partner and so supportive,” said Gloria McAdam, president of Foodshare, an organization that helps distribute food to local food banks and pantries. McAdam was bagging groceries last Wednesday at the Bristol ShopRite, and said she wanted to participate to give back to a company that does so much for the community.
Shirley Dickau also was bagging groceries, representing Zion Lutheran Church and its food pantry and soup kitchen, the oldest ones in Bristol.
“Our organization is fortunate enough to receive funding and donations from ShopRite,” Dickau said, adding Zion serves about 400 meals each week. “This is a great opportunity to bring awareness to the problem, (of hunger in the community).”
Tornaquindici said being in the food business, he feels it is necessary to help his local community in need.
“It is a joy to work with the local organizations and churches that provide meals to those in need,” Tornaquindici said, adding the patrons of ShopRite are helping the company be able to provide this assistance to the local community.
Tornaquindici said the organizations ShopRite helps out are suggested by his employees who are local.
“I know I can be a help to the community when we have a grocery store right here,” he added.
Tornaquindici has owned the Bristol ShopRite since 1999, and has owned a ShopRite in Waterbury since 1996.
“With nearly 50 million Americans, including 17 million children, suffering from food insecurity, ShopRite Partners In Caring, a year-round, community based hunger-fighting charity, is helping to raise awareness and inspire action within their local communities through hunger-fighting initiatives,” a press release said.
Comments? Email knaples@BristolObserver.