Before opening its doors to customers, our new store in Boardman, Ohio, gave three local nonprofits a first glimpse of its commitment to supporting the communities where team members work and live.
The Boardman store is our first location in the Youngstown area. Unless someone drove an hour to Stow in nearby Akron, their only Meijer experience was watching the steady progress at the construction site over the past 14 months. So, when our team members visited Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, Inspiring Minds and the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley to present each organization with a donation, it made the introduction even more impactful.
“As neighbors, we couldn’t wait to see the new store, but when the store director called and told us their employees had chosen us to be one of the store’s Simply Give partners and receive the donation, we were thrilled,” said Renee Fuller from Second Harvest Food Bank. “We’re responsible for distributing meals to 160 churches, missions and other agencies throughout Mahoning Valley. With a 50 percent increase last year due to the pandemic, there is always an urgent need to restock our food pantries.”
But Second Harvest Food Bank got a second surprise when Store Director Dessie Szklany and team members came to present the $10,000 check to the food bank. The store is already planning to regularly donate food and schedule dates where store teams will volunteer at the warehouse to further support the food bank’s mission.
Inspiring Minds also shared their excitement about the support. Working with students to help graduate high school and discover careers, the organization is often in need of funds to plan group trips to colleges, as well as food and cleaning supplies for its after school and summer enrichment programs at its Youngstown facility.
“They hadn’t even opened their doors yet, so we were shocked and instantly thought about all of the students we’ll be able to help,” Program Director Carl Diggs said. “We strive to teach them the importance of giving back and being part of the community, so we’re already looking forward to ways we can partner with the store to continue inspiring our kids.”
For the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley, the pandemic made serving their homeless guests much more difficult and the donation was a welcome relief.
“This donation was perfectly timed and has already gone a long way to helping us as we take care of our guests,” said Lynn Wyant, Chief Development Officer of the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley. “We’re incredibly grateful the financial support, but the opportunity to have a community-minded company like Meijer is even more of a gift.”