C&S Wholesale Grocers Helps Hungry Vermonters Start the Day With a Good Breakfast; 6,000 Boxes of Cereal are Part of a 13-Truckload Late Winter "Crunch Time" Donation to the Hunger Relief Program, Project Feed the Thousands

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C&S Wholesale Grocers is helping in the fight against hunger in one of its home communities by donating 13 truckloads of food to the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center to the hunger relief program, Project Feed the Thousands. Included in the donation are 6,000 boxes of cereal - the equivalent of 78,000 servings - which food bank organizers say is vital, yet difficult to obtain.

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is all the time for families who need food banks to make ends meet. We want people to understand that food pantries and community kitchens all across America need the public's help now more than ever.

C&S Wholesale Grocers is helping the fight against hunger in one of its local communities by donating 13 truckloads of food to the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center via Project Feed the Thousands in 2007.

Included in the 13-truckload donation are 6,000 boxes of cereal obtained through the generosity of C&S vendor Malt-O-Meal, of Minneapolis, MN. That's enough to provide 78,000 breakfast servings to area residents in need.

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for school-aged children," said Melinda Bussino, Executive Director of the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center. "This donation provides us with a non-perishable food item that is difficult to obtain because it's expensive. The C&S contribution of 13 truckloads of food means the world to us--but this wonderful donation of cereal means even more to local children and adults who are food insecure."

Gina Goff, Director of Corporate Giving for C&S, explained the reason for the company's late-winter announcement of its donation commitment. "The majority of charitable giving occurs during the holidays, but unfortunately, hunger is an issue that huge numbers of families face all year long," she said. "We're making our announcement in March to call attention to the fact that the real "crunch time" is all the time for families who need food banks to make ends meet. We want people to understand that food pantries and community kitchens all across America need the public's help now more than ever."

The Brattleboro Drop In Center is one of 280 member agencies of the Vermont Food Bank, and is a Member of America's Second Harvest - The Nation's Food Bank Network. The mission of America's Second Harvest (the largest charitable hunger-relief organization in the U.S.) is to secure and distribute food and grocery products through its network to people in need.

"People think of Vermont as having beautiful villages and farms, and not issues like this," said Goff. "But even little Brattleboro (population 12,000) is like any other community with a hidden problem of food insecurity."

According to Goff, the public can help in their own communities by donating money online via the America's Second Harvest web site at http://www.secondharvest.org/cs. She also encouraged people to donate non-perishable food directly to local hunger relief organizations. A list of food banks in all 50 states (with links to local programs) can also be found on the America's Second Harvest web site.

About C&S Wholesale Grocers

C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. is a privately owned company with annual sales for 2007 of $20 billion. The company is the 7th largest privately held company in the nation, as ranked by Forbes magazine. Founded in 1918, C&S provides distribution services to grocery chains and independent stores, delivering to more than 5,000 locations from its distribution centers in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, California and Hawaii. C&S Wholesale Grocers supports initiatives to stop hunger and to promote the health and enrichment of communities that are homes to its employees and facilities. C&S was named the 2006 America's Second Harvest Grocery Distributor of the Year, and is the 2007 Supermarket News Community Service Award Winner. For more information please visit http://www.cswg.com/pr2.htm .

About Hunger in Vermont - and America

·    7.4% of the children in Vermont live below the official poverty level.

·    The Brattleboro (VT) Drop In Center is one of 280 member agencies of the Vermont Food Bank, and is part of America's Second Harvest - The Nation's Food Bank Network.

·    The America's Second Harvest national network includes 29,700 food pantries, 5,600 soup kitchens and 4,100 emergency shelters.

·    The mission of America's Second Harvest (the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief in the United States) is to secure and distribute food and grocery products through its network to people in need.

·    The America's Second Harvest system serves approximately 25.3 million unduplicated people annually. Nearly 4.5 million different people receive emergency food assistance from the system in any given week. (Source: Hunger in America: A Report on Emergency Food Distribution in the United States in 2005)

·    America's Second Harvest network agencies serve a broad cross-section of households in the US. Key characteristics include:

o    36.4% are children under 18 years old

o    8% are children age 0 to 5 years

o    10% are elderly ages 65 or older

o    40% are non-Hispanic white

o    38% are non-Hispanic black

o    17% are Hispanic

o    36% of households include at least one employed adult

o    68% of households had incomes below the official poverty level during the previous month

o    12% are homeless

·    42% of households served by the America's Second Harvest national network report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel.

·    35% had to choose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage.

·    32% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care.

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Gina Goff
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