Dollar General Announces Plans to Expand Produce in up to 10,000 Stores to Address Food Insecurity; Todd Vasos and Claire Babineaux-Fontenot Share
GOODLETTSVILLE, TN - Food insecurity remains a pressing issue in the U.S., and Dollar General has recently announced a new strategy to help in the fight against hunger. The retailer revealed that it would not only be partnering with Feeding America® and donating $1 million to the organization, but will be offering fresh produce to up to 10,000 communities over the next few years, with many of the stores located in USDA-defined food deserts.
“Food insecurity impacts communities across the country, and given that Feeding America projects that 42 million people may face hunger as a result of the pandemic, we want to be part of the solution for those facing this issue,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s Chief Executive Officer. “With our extensive store footprint, often in communities others have chosen not to serve, Dollar General is uniquely positioned to help combat hunger by offering convenient access to a variety of nutritious foods at affordable prices. Our work with Feeding America builds on these efforts by providing in-kind donations of perishable foods to help nourish and feed those in need. Together with Feeding America and local community food banks, we look forward to making a measurable impact in the fight against food insecurity.”
With about 75 percent of the U.S. population living within a five-mile radius of a Dollar General store, the retail outlet is in a prime position to provide healthy food options to those who may not have had access due to their location. According to a press release, Dollar General currently features fresh produce in more than 1,300 stores, providing top 20 items that are typically sold in grocery stores and approximately 80 percent of produce categories carried by most retailers. Over the next few years, the number of stores will increase to more than 10,000.
To help further promote healthy living, Dollar General has partnered with a registered nutritionist to create DG Better For You meals, featuring healthier recipes for each meal of the day with items that are sourced from the retail chain.
Dollar General has also joined forces with Feed America to positively impact food insecurity concerns, especially in rural America. Through its partnership, the retailer will donate $1 million as well as donations of perishable and nutritious food to community food banks. Dollar General is looking to provide up to 20 million meals each year to help alleviate hunger in its communities.
The partnership will not only support underserved communities with valuable food resources, but through Dollar General’s widening footprint, will provide access to healthy food to communities of 20,000 or fewer which traditionally don’t have access.
“Each year, billions of pounds of food go to waste, while millions of Americans face hunger. Feeding America is grateful to Dollar General for ensuring that good, wholesome unsold food gets to people who need it most. We are also grateful for their generous donation of $1 million, which will help provide meals to children and families in rural communities,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Chief Executive Officer of Feeding America.
Dollar General and Feeding America initially began to test food donations in the summer of 2020 in several Indianapolis, Indiana, and Atlanta, Georgia-area stores. Recenlty, the retailer expanded its donations to its DG Fresh cold storage facilities as well. In 2020, Dollar General donations provided more than 2 million meals to those in need.
In addition to weekly collections, the partnership will provide opportunities for Feeding America and local food banks to collect food items during times of crisis.
As Dollar General continues to drive forward its fresh produce strategy, AndNowUKnow will bring you the latest insights.