COLUMBIA — Author, entrepreneur and restaurateur, Paula Deen, a longtime advocate for hunger relief, is teaming up with Bi-Lo to support the grocery chain’s annual effort to stock local food banks for the upcoming holiday season.
Now through Wednesday, Dec. 26, Bi-Lo customers in Columbia and elsewhere in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee can participate in Bi-Lo’s Holiday Hunger Relief program by making a monetary donation in increments of $1, $3 or $5 at the check-out. Funds raised will be distributed to local food banks, to provide as many meals as possible this holiday season.
Appearing at a kick-off event at a Bi-Lo store in Greenville, Deen backed the Holiday Hunger Relief program with words of personal support and teamed up with Bi-Lo to make a generous donation on behalf of Springer Mountain Farms, a family-owned business raising chicken for more than 60 years, to food banks in the area. In addition, Bi-Lo has promised to match customer donations up to $15,000 in the Upstate.
A native of Albany, Ga., Deen overcame tragedy and poverty in her life by using her traditional Southern cooking to begin a meal delivery service out of her home. With love, hard work and some help from her sons, her business grew into a restaurant, then a Food Network show, to an enterprise with 17 licenses and a broad gamut of good living products. Grateful for the blessings in her life, Deen works tirelessly to give to those in need, with a special passion for hunger relief.
“This holiday season we have improved the Holiday Hunger Relief program by allowing charitable organizations to select food products based on the needs of the families they serve instead of providing pre-packaged donations,” said Bi-Lo Regional Vice President, Sam Blaiss.
“With the support of our generous customers, Bi-Lo is dedicated to helping hard-working Columbia-area charities in the effort to ensure no family goes hungry over the holidays, especially during this time of increased economic hardship.”
Participating food banks in the Columbia area include:
· Good Samaritan House of Winnsboro
· Harvest Hope Food Bank of Columbia
· Mission of Hope Ministries of Cayce
· Newberry County Manna House Food Pantry
· Operation Reach Out of Leesville
· Sharing God’s Love of Irmo
· We Care of Chapin
· United Ministries of Sumter County
“The Bi-lo Holiday Hunger Relief Program will mean a lot to us this year because donations are down and demand is up,” said Manna House Purchasing Agent Wayne Mitchell. “Manna House appreciates a program like this from Bi-Lo to get us through the hard times of these bad economic times.”
Bi-Lo has been working with local food banks to relieve hunger during the holidays for more than 15 years, donating more than one million pounds of food to feed families in the communities it serves.
For more information about Bi-Lo or to find a store near you, please visit. www.bi-lo.com.