ANKENY, Iowa — As a new measure of COVID-19 relief, Casey’s General Stores Inc. is providing $500,000 to school-aged children and their families through a new partnership with Chicago-based nonprofit Feeding America.
The program includes an immediate cash donation to the 52 food banks in Casey’s 16-state footprint, as well as an offering of nearly 40,000 pounds of in-kind food product to two Feeding America member food banks. Casey’s will also support Feeding America through an in-store donation campaign, volunteer efforts and future in-kind food donations.
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“Joining forces with Feeding America is a natural reflection of how we live our purpose by being here for good,” said Darren Rebelez, CEO of Casey’s General Stores. “At Casey’s, we are at the heart of each community we serve, and our communities face a great need for food. This multifaceted partnership allows us to help quickly provide meals in our communities while also creating a program for long-term support of youth and family hunger programs.”
The economic impact of COVID-19 is increasing the food insecurity rate for children in the United States. Nearly one in seven children in the U.S. were food insecure prior to the pandemic, according to Casey’s, citing information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That number has spiked during the COVID-19 outbreak and could hit as high as 18 million, the company said.
“Feeding America food banks are working tirelessly to meet the increased needs of our neighbors who face hunger,” said Lauren Biedron, vice president of corporate partnerships for Feeding America. “However, we can’t do that alone. We are thankful to Casey’s General Stores for their support at such a critical time in this fight against hunger. This partnership will help provide more meals to people who need it most.”
Feeding America is the largest network of food banks, pantries and meal programs in the United States. It has 200 food banks in its network and feeds more than 40 million people nationwide.
“Over our 52-year history, Casey’s has been part of hundreds of communities as we’ve grown from one store in Iowa to more than 2,200 stores across 16 states,” said Rebelez. “We have donated to food banks over the years, and this new partnership with Feeding America will deepen that longstanding effort to address hunger in our communities.”