One of the great lessons that has already been learned from the COVID-19 pandemic – which, as of this writing, continues on a global scale – is the importance of essential workers in getting our society through this difficult time. As Americans are being asked to stay at home and practice social distancing to combat the virus, there are some whose presence in the workplace continues to be vital. Food industry workers – from growers to the production line to transport, to those who stock the shelves and engage with customers at the point of sale – are at the front lines of this pandemic, and the employees of The GIANT Company are among them.
In addition to working tirelessly to ensure that customers have the food they need, the company is doing everything else it can to support its stores, team members and communities. This includes fighting back against panic-buying – an ongoing, industry-wide out-of-stock problem that is a hallmark of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only is it impacting business in terms of keeping items in stock, but it is taking a toll on team members, frustrating customers and straining the services that so many people are relying on, including food banks. A GIANT-launched social media campaign - #moreforall – communicates this dilemma through a video that features The GIANT Company President Nicholas Bertram, Buona Foods President Gale Ferranto and Central PA Food Bank Executive Director Joe Arthur. Together, they share a simple but powerful message – that buyers should shop like they used to and buy only what they need for now.
Hand-in-hand with this commitment to ensuring households have the food they need is offering support to community food programs. In response to the pandemic, The GIANT Company donated a total of $250,000 to four local hunger relief organizations – the Central PA Food Bank, Philabundance, the Maryland Food Bank and Meals on Wheels Pennsylvania. These organizations represent hope to those in over 30 counties within two states as they work through extraordinary circumstances to supply food to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters; and the donation helps them address immediate needs to secure food and food delivery to those in need – especially seniors and kids.
The GIANT Company’s customers have also stepped up during this time by offering generous support to the programs the company regularly engages in during this time of year. In the month of March, customers raised more than $1 million to support local hunger relief efforts – helping to fund 10 million meals across a number of major food banks. They donated these funds during the company’s signature Bag Hunger Campaign and by rounding up the dollar amount on purchases at self-checkout. In addition, the company donated 3,000 hams to its partner food banks to help feed those in need during the Easter season.
In addition to protecting the region’s food supply, The GIANT Company has also joined the fight against COVID-19 through substantial donations to COVID-19 mitigation efforts. A $250,000 donation was made to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Penn State Children’s Hospital, the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital at Geisinger, Children’s National Hospital and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center to help boost medical resources (such as telemedicine, COVID-19 testing centers for children, providing PPE and more) to help protect the health systems’ patients from the virus’s evolving threat.
The company is also protecting those who rely on its pharmaceutical services by offering special hours to protect the older and immunocompromised, who are more at risk for COVID-19-related complications; and offering both GIANT Direct pick-up services and UPS mailing of medications for senior customers.
In all of these ways, The GIANT Company has demonstrated its worth as a community leader; and has proven without a shadow of a doubt that its team members fit the very definition of an “essential” worker as we navigate these uncertain times, together.
Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.