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Food Bank For New York City Launches New Interactive Virtual Food Drive Fundraising Tool


            Peapod By Stop & Shop Joins Fight Against Hunger in NYC as Exclusive Title Sponsor 

New York, NY – November 15, 2011 – Food Bank For New York City — the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs — today announced the official launch of its highly anticipated new interactive virtual food drive fundraising tool that will allow donors to create a personalized Virtual Food Drive page and invite friends, family or coworkers to donate.  Peapod by Stop & Shop, the leading and preferred provider of online grocery shopping, will join the fight against hunger in New York City as the Drive's Exclusive Title Sponsor.   Together, through a series of cross promotions throughout the coming year, these two organization expect to make a significant impact on the lives of millions of New Yorkers who struggle to afford food.

Approximately 1.5 million people annually rely on the Food Bank's comprehensive programs and services, and nearly half (47 percent) of all New York City households with children struggle to afford food, according to the Food Bank's research.  Further, one in five New York City children and one in six seniors relies on emergency food from a soup kitchen and/or food pantry to make ends meet.

"We are very excited to launch our new Virtual Food Drive fundraising tool and we are thrilled to welcome Peapod by Stop & Shop to the Food Bank For New York City family as our new partner in this endeavor," said Margarette Purvis, President & CEO of the Food Bank For New York City. "There is a great synergy between our two organizations.  We are both committed to providing food for New Yorkers and ending food poverty in New York City.  Thanks to Peapod's generosity, we will be more able to meet our goals in the coming year."

“As we continue to expand our delivery service in New York City, we are committed to being a valued community partner,” said Peg Merzbacher, Director of Marketing for Peapod by Stop & Shop. “As an online retailer who strives to make grocery shopping easier, we particularly appreciate the innovative concept of a Virtual Food Drive that uses technology to making giving easier. We hope the Virtual Food Drive will encourage many New Yorkers to help their neighbors struggling with food insecurity.”

The Virtual Food Drive is an excellent way to put more meals on the table for New Yorkers in need, do it faster and do it with less expense than through traditional food collection drives. And thanks to the Food Bank’s wholesale purchasing power and efficient distribution model, food donations are stretched even further — doubling or even tripling the amount of food a dollar can provide. All donations go toward purchasing much-needed supplemental food and grocery products that traditional food drives do not bring in.  

The Virtual Food Drive's website tool mirrors the familiar experience of grocery shopping online, where users can shop the aisles – meat and fish, grains and beans, dairy and eggs, produce, and other supplies – place items in a shopping cart to check out and make a secure donation on the Food Bank web servers. For example, a $5 donation can provide 25 meals to New Yorkers in need, and for every $36 donated, one child can get the food they need to maintain healthy lifestyle for three months.  

Evidence that the food community is rallying behind the Virtual Food Drive concept is the response by Carolina Rice and Ronzoni® who have signed on as sponsor of the Food Bank's Virtual Food Drive Grains & Beans Aisle. The Food Bank is seeking additional sponsorships for their Produce Aisle, the Meat & Fish Aisle, the Dairy & Eggs Aisle, and the Beyond Food Aisle.

Corporations, organizations and individuals are given access to full reporting of donations so they can track the success of their campaign and there is an opportunity to set up a competition between departments, divisions, locations, or individuals.  Donations are delivered to the Food Bank instantaneously and donors receive an email tax deduction receipt automatically.  It's that easy.  

Further, donors immediately see how their participation impacts the fundraising goal. To register, users create their own personalized Virtual Food Drive campaign and set a fundraising goal using a user-friendly online registration tool with instructions.   Whether it's for a birthday or wedding, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, an important race or no special reason at all, each registrant can invite their friends, family and coworkers to get involved and donate in lieu of traditional gifts. Proceeds from gifts made through the Virtual Food Drive go toward the programs and efforts of the Food Bank For New York City. Peapod is offering a special 'Thank You' donor code. Peapod will give donors a $10 discount off their next Peapod delivery of $100 or more.  

Visit foodbanknyc.org today to set up a Food Bank Virtual Food Drive.  Companies interested in sponsoring one of the Virtual Food Drive's aisles, please contact Debbie Kellogg at dkellog@foodbanknyc.org

About the Food Bank For New York City
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 28 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs.  As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, the Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education — all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of  community-based member programs citywide, the Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. The Food Bank’s hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches thousands of children, teens and adults. Income support services including food stamps, free tax assistance for the working poor and the Earned Income Tax Credit put millions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, helping them to achieve greater dignity and independence. 94% of donations go directly toward food distribution, acquisition and programs in all five boroughs of New York City.  Learn how you can help at foodbanknyc.org.

About Peapod
Founded in 1989 as a smart shopping option for busy people, Peapod today stands as the country's leading Internet grocer, serving 24 U.S. markets in communities in the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  An Ahold USA company, Peapod has made over 20 million deliveries since its late 1980s inception.  For more information on Peapod, call 1.800.5.PEAPOD (573-2763); email service@peapod.com or visit www.peapod.com.

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