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Hy-Vee Donates $100,000 to Meals from the Heartland, Reaches Charity Challenge Goal for National Family Meals Month

November 1, 2016 | News & Press Releases


Supermarket chain donates $1 for each social media post encouraging families to eat one more meal together each week

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Oct. 31, 2016) — Hy-Vee, Inc. recently gave $100,000 to Meals from the Heartland — its largest donation ever to the nonprofit — after getting at least 100,000 people to build awareness about the benefits of families eating one more meal together each week.

In recognition of National Family Meals Month, Hy-Vee announced a major charity donation challenge in September to get families back around the dinner table. For every family who posted a photo of themselves eating a meal together on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or for every person who shared the message on their social media sites and used the hashtag #HyVeeFamilyMeals, Hy-Vee pledged to donate $1 to Meals from the Heartland, up to $100,000.

“We are thrilled with the hundreds of thousands of people who engaged in our social media campaign during National Family Meals Month,” said Brad Waller, Hy-Vee’s assistant vice president of community relations. “With this donation, Meals from the Heartland will be able to provide more than 500,000 meals to those families who are hungry and in need of food.”

Meals from the Heartland is made up of volunteers from businesses, schools, churches and community organizations who package meals for delivery to malnourished people in the Midwest, across the United States and around the world.

“We are very fortunate to work with Hy-Vee, a company that truly understands community giving and continually steps up to help those in need,” said Susan Bunz, executive director of Meals from the Heartland. “Countless people will be fed thanks to the efforts of Hy-Vee and those who helped spread the National Family Meals Month message on social media.”

Created by the Food Marketing Institute, National Family Meals Month is an industry-inspired movement to raise consumer awareness of the health and societal benefits of sharing frequent family meals. Research shows that children who share regular family meals benefit from better grades, improved nutrition, stronger family relationships and higher self-esteem, and they are less likely to use drugs and alcohol.

Hy-Vee Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker serves as the 2016 chair of the National Family Meals Month campaign.

To help encourage families to gather around the table for dinner, Hy-Vee also provided every child a free kids’ meal (with the purchase of an adult entrée) at more than 90 Hy-Vee Market Grille restaurants across the company’s eight-state region during National Family Meals Month. In addition, Hy-Vee dietitians provided 15-minute recipe ideas to customers and signage was displayed in stores to promote the benefits of eating meals together.

Meals from the Heartland check presentation

Attached for media use is a photo of Meals from the Heartland staff accepting Hy-Vee’s $100,000 check from Brad Waller, assistant vice president of community relations at Hy-Vee. Pictured left to right: Jordie Sorensen, marketing coordinator; Jill Richey, administrative assistant; Mike Frandsen, Hunger Fight assistant; Joel O'Dell, Hunger Fight manager; Shellie Billings, office manager; Sandy Niland, volunteer coordinator; Susan Bunz, executive director; Brad Miller, warehouse manager; and Waller of Hy-Vee.


Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 240 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $9.3 billion annually. Hy-Vee ranks among the top 25 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. Supermarket News, the authoritative voice of the food industry, has honored the company with a Whole Health Enterprise Award for its leadership in providing services and programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit