ShopRite of Medford to Reveal Cheerios Box Featuring Three Store Associates
Medford, N.J. – For some people, it takes a feat of Olympic proportions to land on a cereal box, like making a triple axel look easy or defying gravity on a snowboard. In South Jersey, it takes a commitment to the fight against hunger. That’s because General Mills annually teams up with Wakefern Food Corp. to challenge ShopRite stores to raise money to support hunger-fighting initiatives. As the top fundraising store in 2017, ShopRite of Medford will have three associates appear on a special edition Cheerios box, which the store will unveil March 6 at an in-store celebration.
ShopRite of Medford raised nearly $54,000 in the fundraising challenge, earning the store bragging rights as the top fundraiser for the third year in a row. Together, Wakefern and General Mills challenge all 270-plus ShopRite stores to raise money primarily in September, which is National Hunger Action Month. Funds are channeled to the ShopRite Partners In Caring program, a hunger-fighting initiative that gives support to more than 2,200 charities. Since its founding, Partners In Caring has donated more than $44 million to soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters, senior citizen centers and other organizations that are on the front lines of fighting hunger.
The three ShopRite of Medford associates chosen to appear on the Cheerios box this year played leading roles in helping the store shatter its previous record of about $40,000 collected in 2016. Andrea Boyle, of Medford Lakes, raised money at the register through “round-ups.” The part-time cashier passionately talked up the store’s hunger-fighting efforts to customers, who, in turn, rounded up their bills to contribute to the Partners In Caring fundraiser. Kim Dean, of Tabernacle, ShopRite from Home manager, collected prizes for the store’s Silent Auction, often on her own time. The connections she made throughout the community also helped raise overall awareness of Partners In Caring. Heather Lordi, of Southampton, Courtesy manager, helped ShopRite of Medford remain on task and motivated to both hit its initial fundraising goal of $50,000 and eventually surpass it to clinch the title once again as the top Partners In Caring fundraiser. She kept an eye on the competition and crunched the numbers to determine just what it would take for ShopRite of Medford to retain its crown.
“These three associates went above and beyond to make our Partners In Caring fundraising campaign a success, and we are thrilled to recognize their efforts publicly by featuring them on the Cheerios box,” said David Zallie, owner of ShopRite of Medford, ShopRite of Lawnside and ShopRite of Gibbstown. “Andrea, Kim and Heather each had a strong commitment to our ultimate goal of fighting hunger in South Jersey. I know many of our neighbors will benefit from their efforts.”
Boyle said that she had previously experienced food insecurity years ago as a single mother of three, which she used as motivation to help those currently struggling to feed their families. “As a first-year ShopRite employee, I was excited to participate in Partners In Caring to help others,” she said. “I truly believe that this is the best cause that anyone in our community can contribute to because the money raised goes to many organizations to support so many people in need.”
Lordi said that the ShopRite of Medford customers help make the store a top fundraiser year after year. “Our customers are really great. Medford is a very giving community,” she said. “We wouldn’t be as successful without them.”
Dean echoed Lordi’s comments, but directed her praise toward the business community specifically. “I have never been turned down when asking for a donation for our Silent Auction,” she said. “In fact, 99 percent of the businesses I ask for support give me a donation on the spot.”
ShopRite of Medford will celebrate its “three-peat” as the top fundraising store and the efforts of Boyle, Dean and Lordi at an in-store ceremony on March 6 at 1 p.m. The ceremony will include the unveiling of the Cheerios box and brief remarks by attendees. Planned guests include local dignitaries, representatives from General Mills Philadelphia and the General Mills headquarters in Minnesota and representatives from St. Vincent de Paul Society food banks in Tabernacle and Medford and The Food Bank of South Jersey, in addition to the families of Boyle, Dean and Lordi.
As the top Partners In Caring fundraising store, ShopRite of Medford received $3,000 from Wakefern to distribute to hunger-fighting organizations of its choosing. It also received the invitation to select three employees for the Cheerios box, whereas the majority of the ShopRite stores that finished in the top 40 in terms of fundraising each chose two employees to appear on the box. All featured ShopRite employees received a gift bag, which included an e-reader and beautiful silver picture frame.
Employees featured on the Cheerios box from ShopRite of Lawnside are Sydnee King from Lawnside, N.J., and Adrienne Olah from Medford, N.J.
“My entire family is excited to see the box when it comes out on March 6,” said Boyle. “They all want to buy one.”