Ocean State Job Lot, a 111-store discount retail chain headquartered in North Kingstown, has announced its 2014 “Three Square Meals” hunger relief program to alleviate the food crisis throughout the Northeast U.S.
The program is expected to distribute 78 tractor trailer loads of food throughout the year to 13 food banks and pantries across six New England states and New York, including including the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. This marks the largest single food donation of its kind by a private company in New England.
On Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 9:30 a.m., the first delivery of food will kick-off via convoy of 17 tractor trailer trucks loaded with 600,000 lbs of nutritious shelf-stable food. The public is invited to cheer on the convoy departing from Job Lot’s warehouse in North Kingstown, escorted by RI State Police, Blue Knights motorcycle club and North Kingstown Fire Department en route to the select Food Banks.
For the first time in the 11-year history of the Three Square Meals program, private businesses are sponsoring a truckload of food including Bank of America, The Providence Journal Charitable Fund, Polar Beverages, and Bob’s Red Mill. Job Lot’s Charitable Foundation is also teaming up with the New England Patriots Alumni Club led by former 12-year Patriots offensive player Pete Brock and 15-year quarterback Steve Grogan to “tackle hunger” in 2014 and beyond. They will be on-hand for the March 25th morning event along with current Patriots cheerleaders and costumed mascot “Pat Patriot.”
In what has become a holiday tradition, Job Lot customers in seven states were invited to donate $1 at the register through December 31, 2013 to help buy food for Food Banks to distribute in their local community. Job Lot matched the first $100,000 of donations made by shoppers. The customer donations and matching amount totaled over $1.4 million – the equivalent of 78 tractor trailer loads of food. Leveraging its significant wholesale buying power, Job Lot purchases food from its manufacturers and other sources valued at up to three times Job Lot’s purchase price, and also donates all purchasing logistics, administration, management, delivery labor, and fuel ensuring 100 percent of donated funds are used to help alleviate hunger. Items to be distributed include shelf-stable food such as pasta, cereal, canned vegetables and fruit, soup, canned tuna, dried beans, rice, and more.
In late Spring, Job Lot and the New England Patriots Alumni Club are launching an initiative with URI’s SNAP-Ed program, culinary institutes, Scotts and Burpee Seeds to tackle food insecurity in the region from supporting neighborhood gardens to providing nutrition education to the community. “
Our Three Square Meals event is intended to bring attention to and help alleviate the growing food crisis in our region,” said Ocean State Job Lot Owner/Partner Alan Perlman, who notes his company is quick to recognize the contributions and generosity of its valued customers. “We’re leading the fight against hunger, starting from the community garden level, to distributing nutritious food, to then teaching people how to create and eat healthy meals. Together with our customers and charitable partners such as the Patriots Alumni and URI’s SNAP-Ed program, we can greatly impact each step along this food insecurity cycle. It’s exciting to see our Three Square Meals program grow and become an important catalyst for change.”