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  1. Last June , Delhaize Group’s banner Food Lion launched “Food Lion Feeds”, its renewed focus on hunger relief, with a commitment to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020.

    The 500 million meals will come through direct company donations, partnerships with vendors, volunteerism from Food Lion employees and contributions from Food Lion customers.

    To mark the launch of the campaign Food Lion employees provided the first 1 million meals, in five cities, in five days during a “Week of Giving” in the areas where stores are located, highlighting the many faces of hunger.

    With 1 in 6 people in the U.S. facing hunger every day, it’s an issue that affects everyone from children to families, seniors, the working poor and even veterans. That’s why Food Lion is so passionate about ending hunger in its local communities.

    Food Lion Feeds is Food Lion’s commitment to ensuring that no one has to choose between dinner and paying rent or gasoline and buying groceries.

    Food Lion also invited its customers to join it in eliminating hunger. A special Food Lion Feeds reusable bag was launched for sale in the Food Lion stores. Through June 30, each time a customer purchased a Food Lion Feeds reusable bag, Food Lion committed to donate 5 meals to a local food bank. Food Lion also supplemented its customers’ purchases with an additional USD 50 000 donation.

    These and other efforts planned for 2014 and beyond are just the beginning of Food Lion’s long-term commitment to ending hunger. Food Lion wants its customers and its communities to know that it stands for hunger relief and that they can count on Food Lion every day. This is an important part of the company’s “Count on Me culture”. Food Lion sees this as an opportunity to create awareness, to engage its customers, to help end hunger in its communities and to make the lines at feeding agencies shorter.

     

    Support to this action is much appreciated.

     

    For additional information check: http://www.foodlion.com/InOurCommunity/FoodLionFeeds

  2. Supporting our communities has always been a strong part of what we do at Delhaize Group and, the Delhaize Group Fund created in 2008, is one of the multiple ways our company supports local communities.

    On November 14, the Delhaize Group Fund announced the results of its 2012 call for projects. A total of 33 projects, across Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, will be supported financially with a total of EUR 150 000. These initiatives bring together residents from different social, cultural and economic backgrounds. They strive for a common goal of neighbors getting to know each other better and feeling good in their community.

    Our associates based in Belgium and Luxembourg were also involved in the selection process. They had the opportunity to vote  for the project of their choice (amongst the 5 projects highlighted by the Jury) and select the winner of the specialDelhaize Associates’ Prize”.

    “Equigaart, a collective garden in Junglinster” of the association Equigaart Lënster in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, was the project honored with this award and will get double the amount of the financial support provided by the Delhaize Group Fund.

    This year we have seen a trend where “the winning projects” reflect a link between ecological or environmental aspects and social cohesion.”, commented the jury. “We have seen initiatives such as vegetable gardens, ‘green in the city’ combined with healthy eating initiatives among the projects selected.”

    If you are curious about what happened with the projects awarded last year, here is a selection of some of the 34 projects the DG Fund supported in 2011 . Some great examples of how we can all make the difference in our communities.

    The “Corsaires TV: Local Life” project proposes a monthly online video program to learn about the various citizen initiatives in working-class neighborhoods in the Anderlecht area of Brussels.

    In “Getting to know each other over dinner”, residents from the Red Cross Refugee Center of Natoye participate in cooking workshops where they share their culinary traditions with their neighbors. The aim is twofold: promote integration for the Center’s residents and make locals aware of the difficult reality of being a refugee.

    “Coming together for a nicer neighborhood” organizes various activities in the Wittebrood neighborhood of Mechelen with a focus on friendliness, cleanliness and security in the area. The activities came to a close with a barbecue to bring everybody together.

    “Once upon a time: Multilingual reading workshops for children” is the only intercultural library for children in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. These reading workshops for children aged 4-9 take place every Saturday and are followed by an activity related to the story the children have been told that day.


    (All picture credits: pressroom.voice.be/fondsdelhaize/en)

    Do you have any similar local initiatives going on in your neighborhood? We’d love to learn about them!

  3. The current economic crisis hits all of us but some are suffering more than others and unfortunately these days a growing number of families are unable to afford a reasonable meal per day. While charity organizations are having a hard time to cope with the ever increasing food demands, supermarkets are required by restrictive laws to dispose larger amounts of food out of their shelves.

    In 2012, the Saint-Vincent de Paul Society, an organization that offers support to persons in need decided to highlight this contradiction and to address all parties involved. Following the Society’s call, the Belgian Minister in charge of the Fight Against Poverty in Flanders, launched an initiative asking Belgian supermarkets to present a plan to reduce the volume of good, edible food that is sent to waste and to help reduce hunger.

    The good news is that Delhaize’s proposal was selected and Delhaize Belgium committed to further reduce food waste by taking a series of new actions that will contribute to making its employees and clients even more conscious about the problems related to food waste. What a great example of how we bring the Sustainability pillar of our strategy into action.

    This project unique for Belgium and for Delhaizeis an additional opportunity to sustainably reduce the volume of food waste generated by our stores but also to help improving the life of the communities where these stores are located.

    Christiane Steegmans (Delhaize), Minister Lieten (center), and a volunteer (right) in a participating store

    So far the first test was successfully run in 3 cities in the Belgian province of Limburg, based on collaboration between 3 Delhaize supermarkets (in Sint-Truiden, Genk and Waterschei) and the Saint-Vincent de Paul Society. The test will soon be extended to cover a total of 13 stores that includes all Delhaize stores in Limburg and a few in the province of Antwerp.

    Putting the plan into practice

    Volunteers of the Saint-Vincent de Paul Society visit the supermarkets every day, after 5pm. They fill their shopping baskets with 3 types of products: fresh food carrying special yellow stickers (indicating that the consumption date will expire the following day), dry food specially set aside for them and bread stocked in the freezer.

    Every store prepares an average of 20 food packs per day, equivalent to an average monthly value of EUR 10 000 per store.

    The packs are distributed the very same day, allowing individuals and families in need to enjoy a diner with a percentage of fresh food (meat, fish, vegetables, fruit…) higher than the ‘standard’ food packs, mainly composed of dry food.

    All parties involved are very satisfied with the results so far and all speak of a win win situation.

    Tell us about what actions you are taking to deal with the crisis and reduce your food waste or the actions taking place in your community.

     

    * And yes, we know the actual expression is ‘killing 2 birds with 1 stone’ but we did not quite like the image it evokes…

  4. We decided to make this dream come true, it was a rewarding experience in all its aspects, and now we nearly master the Zambian dialect Tonga, after spending 3 months in Africa …

    This dream was born a few years ago: we wanted to do something useful, to realize how lucky we are and to experience another culture. The project became reality in May 2011, when we got in touch with Abantu Zambia, which offered us a project in Zambia: to build an orphanage in Kayooba.

    We are not architects, nor bricklayers, nor builders… but we demonstrate much willingness and we have endless elbow grease. This is why we flew to Zambia on September 1, 2011, knowing that life would not be easy for both of us in the bush, without running water or electricity.

    Our goals: experience another culture, experience life abroad as a couple, and build the orphanage within the allocated timeframe and budget.

    This project was made possible thanks to a number of contributions: first and foremost Laxon’s will, a blacksmith from Kayooba who wanted to teach his trade; secondly the dedication of the Zambian and Belgian teams of Abantu Zambia, and not in the least the funding received from the Passemar Fund, which is part of the King Baudouin Foundation.

    The field at the beginning

    In practical terms, the first step was to set up a building and management committee for the orphanage within the community. Time was pressing because of the rainy season which starts at the end of October and makes access to the village even more difficult as the rain pours down.

    The committee set up for the building and the management of the orphanage

    The manual labour was intense during the first weeks as we had to make sure that the bricklayers would start building the walls quickly. Then, we focussed on the development of a business plan that will allow the orphanage to be independent within 2 or 3 years.

    Among the different adventures we experienced, the main one was to get used to this new environment without electricity or running water. We also had to get used to the meetings planned under the mango tree at 9 AM that only begun 3 hours later, to the constant presence of a small audience that was curious to know who we were and what we were doing… and to some external elements like the roof of the dormitory which was blown away, the well of the village which was emptying…

    The meetings under the mango tree

    What struck us a lot was the notion of time. As a writer said: “Europeans have the watch, Africans have the time”… we experienced it everyday. We were also amazed by the smiles and the gales of laughter that arose without necessarily understanding each other (the villagers didn’t know English very well), the importance of saying “good morning”, of listening, the amount of questions asked when we met someone, the family and friendship values…

    At the end of November we left Kayooba under the rain, the 4 buildings were set up and nearly finished (the doors and the windows still had to be put in). In early January, we heard that 8 children had been settled in one of the two dormitories. There we are! The orphanage is up and running!

    The completed project with the kitchen on the left (straw roof), the two dormitories located next to each other, and the workshop on the right

    But the main challenge is yet to come for the community of Kayooba : developing the « theoretical » organization we defined with them and the business plan that will allow the orphanage and the community of Kayooba to develop themselves.

    We learned strong values of life from this experience and we will certainly keep in touch with Abantu Zambia to follow the further development of this project!

    Anaïs & Xavier

    Anaïs is Sustainable Private Brand Manager for Delhaize Belgium and loves to travel around discovering new things. She lives around Brussels, enjoying the city and rural life, and can be reached at apauwels@delhaize.be. Xavier is Deputy Director Human Resources at InterParking Belgium and loves to cook and play field hockey with his friends.

  5. Winter is always harsher for people and families in need. And in times of crisis that is even more so. This is why in December 2011, Delhaize Luxembourg joined forces with the social solidarity organizations “Caritas Buttek” and “Croix-Rouge Buttek” in Luxembourg. With their support the “Think of others – donate a meal” campaign was launched. Thanks to customers’ generosity, groceries for 6 500 breakfasts and 3 500 meals were collected in Delhaize supermarkets for the network of social solidarity food stores.

     

    Photos: CJ, croix-rouge.lu

    Delhaize customers and employees alike have shown passion for making a positive difference to the less fortunate in their community. Hard times can fall on anyone at anytime and don’t discriminate. So every bit of assistance we can give helps. With that in mind, Delhaize customers took the opportunity to hand in vouchers at the cash register with a value equivalent to one or more meals. The campaign was the second partnership between Delhaize Luxembourg and the network of social solidarity food stores, following an initial campaign of the same kind in December 2010. The initiative helped collect 10 000 meals.

    Thanks to the generosity of our customers and to the contribution of our employees and the 78 volunteers who took part in the collection of these donations, people in need were a little more comfortable this winter. The campaign made it possible to collect goods in Delhaize stores. The goods were then used to fill the shelves of the various social solidarity food stores in Luxembourg. In this way, people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from could be provided with everyday basic necessities.

    If each of us could reach at least one person this way, then we would truly be making a difference.

  6. Do you think a company is only as strong as the communities where it does business? We do.

    Delhaize Group Fund supports 34 projects in Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to help residents work together to make their neighborhood or village more livable. The Fund is a partnership between Delhaize Group and the King Baudouin Foundation. The prize-winning initiatives unite residents from different social, cultural and economic backgrounds. They strive for one common goal:  getting to know their neighbors better and feeling good in their community.

    One of the 2010 award winners – Neighborhood orchestras

    Delhaize associates were involved in the selection of winners, choosing to double the amount of financial support provided to “The school in the neighborhood” – a project that encourages kids to learn knitting, cooking, DIY and gardening, by attending workshops in their local school. This broadens their range of extra-curricular interests and improves social cohesion by bringing together parents, kids, partners, neighbors and volunteers.

    The jury awarded special attention to a project that fights prejudice against asylum seekers who are residing in refugee centers in the province of Luxemburg, Belgium. “Come dine with me” is the name, as well as the key message of this initiative. The originality of the project lies in adapting a concept that is well-known to sections of the population that are socially and culturally distanced from each other. There is also the symbolism of welcoming strangers into your home with the trust and open mindedness that is involved. The initiative leads to warmth and friendliness in the short term (during the meal) but also in the long term by reducing prejudices about asylum seekers and their aims.

    Whether it’s through music, food, photography, construction, writing or other creative activities, all 34 winners will use the funding to help create a stronger sense of community locally, where it matters the most.  Click here to read more about this year’s award winners and about previous initiatives.

    What projects like this could you help with in your community?

  7. Every day and everywhere in the world people struggle to feed themselves and their families.

     

    Click to see the full infographic on World Hunger (Credits: Online Schools)

    In most of the communities Delhaize Group serves, the reasons why people go hungry can be linked to debt, unemployment, illness, domestic violence, family breakdown, unexpected high bills… But the current economic crisis, the worst in decades, is such that many families struggle to put food on their tables, whether or not they have a job.

    Every year food banks fight hunger by providing emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis.
    Delhaize Group banners are part of the communities where they operate. Building healthy, prosperous communities, customers and employees is key to the success of the group. To best respond to local needs, the group’s banners have built local partnerships, support food fundraising through the store networks and donate food directly to local food banks.

    One in 6 people in the world suffer from lack of proper food. In Belgium, over 100 000 people cannot afford to buy a complete and nutritious meal.

    Delhaize Belgium recently organized its 21st food bank campaign. In the first years of the collaboration with the food banks, Delhaize customers were asked to buy food that was then collected and sent to the food banks, to be distributed to the needy. Nowadays the system has become more efficient: customers are invited to buy ‘meal vouchers’ with values ranging from EUR 1.5 to EUR 5 – a EUR 1.5 voucher buys a breakfast, a EUR 3 voucher a warm meal and a EUR 5 voucher buys enough food for the 3 daily meals every person should take. The money collected is given to the food banks that buy the exact goods needed at a specific moment. The 2011 food bank action at Delhaize Belgium ran from October 13 to 19. Hopes are to exceed the 2010 results, when Delhaize customers collected a total of EUR 865 142, equivalent to 407 882 meals.

    On the other side of the Atlantic, Delhaize America also contributes positively in the communities they serve by helping to feed the 49 million Americans who suffer from hunger. Last year Feeding America, the US largest domestic hunger charity, found a 46% increase in this need compared to 2006.

    At the individual store level, donations to food banks have increased through programs such as the Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger or Food Lion Hunger Has a Cure campaigns. At the banner level, partnerships with organizations, such as the Feeding America network, ensures that food still fit for consumption but unable to be sold is distributed to those who need it most. In 2010, in total, Delhaize America has given direct food donations of approximately 20 thousand tonnes, the equivalent of 34.5 million meals, through various events and partnerships. It also donated close to USD 500 000 to Feeding America.

    In recognition for its outstanding contribution, last August the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina awarded Food Lion the title of ‘Food Donor of the Year’. Food Lion received the honor for its 8.9 – million pound commitment to hunger relief. Donations from Food Lion included 7,545,087 pounds of food and 1,330,950 pounds of nonfood items. Food Lion also offered discounts below the market rate on transportation plus storage.

    Food Lion is a proud supporter of Feeding America,” Catherine Green Burns, CEO at Food Lion said. “Our company is dedicated to supporting hunger relief and nutrition education programs in the communities we serve. We strongly believe that no child should ever go hungry, and we hope this contribution will help these food banks to continue to make a difference in the fight to end child hunger.”

    Some of the banners that recently joined Delhaize Group are also involved with food donations. On World Food Day, on October 16, two Tempo centers and a Maxi supermarket celebrated the long partnership they have with local food banks by offering important volumes of food and by inviting customers to join in the action. During the campaign, that also involved other companies, a total of 5 tonnes of food were collected. It will be given to 350 households living in Serbia’s poorest municipalities.

  8. “The worse famine the world has known since the early 90s” These words were used by the UN to describe the current situation in the horn of Africa.
    Mother Nature has a way to remind us of all the damages our societies have inflicted upon her.

    Map from www.cnn.com

     

    As of August 3rd, Delhaize Belgium has decided to react to this humanitarian catastrophe by asking its clients to show solidarity with Eastern Africans and spare some money to help the actions on the field by the Belgian Red Cross and the Consortium Belge pour les Situations d’Urgence, 12-12, and SOS Village d’Enfants.

    An amount of €5, gives a child access to drinking water for 6 months, whilst €10 can save the life of an undernourished kid thanks to a therapeutic alimentation. When doing your shopping at Delhaize in Belgium and in Luxembourg, you will be able to give €5, €10 or €15 at the checkout.

    But we’re not all talk and no action, we also put our hands in our pockets and have pledged a sum of €50.000, which will provide drinkable water to 10.000 kids for a year to the concerned charities.

    So please, think about it, every little helps

    Thank you for your generosity!