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Meijer rebrands its signature hunger relief program Simply Give

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In an effort to increase donations to its food pantry partners, Meijer announced Tuesday that it has rebranded its signature hunger relief program, Simply Give, with the color orange to align more closely to the issue that continues to rise throughout the Midwest.

To celebrate the enhancement of its program, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer will stretch every customer’s $10 Simply Give donation further April 11 to 12. That means for every $10 donation card purchase, Meijer will contribute $20, resulting in a total $30 donation.

"Orange represents the color of hunger awareness, and we wanted Simply Give to connect more closely to the issue at hand," stated co-chairman Hank Meijer. "Thanks to the continued support and generosity of our customers, team members and pantry partners, we’ve been feeding hungry families in the communities we serve for more than five years. We believe these changes will bring more awareness to the Simply Give program, and in turn, help us give even more to our food pantry partners."

Meijer began its Simply Give program in November 2008 as a way to help restock the shelves of local food pantries throughout the Midwest.

Since then, the program has generated nearly $8 million for those food pantry partners to distribute to hungry families. And, more importantly, those meals stay local, said Janet Emerson, EVP retail operations for Meijer. "We know how important it is to our customers that their generous donations remain in their local communities," Emerson said. "That’s why each of our stores partner with a local food pantry during the Simply Give campaign."

During each Simply Give campaign, customers are encouraged to purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards that are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to the food pantry selected by the store. The Simply Give program runs three times a year; the spring campaign will run through May 12.

Although the spring campaign is seven weeks long, the opportunity for customers to get their Simply Give donations double matched will be April 11 to 12.

Customers can find the rebranded Simply Give donation cards on fixtures near the checkout, and grocery and pharmacy departments.

 

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Diplomat to distribute Otezla for psoriatic arthritis

BY Michael Johnsen

FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat on Monday announced that it is one of a select group of specialty pharmacies contracted by Celgene to distribute Otezla (apremilast), a new medication for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. Otezla is an oral small-molecule inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) specific for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). 

Otezla was approved by the FDA on March 21, 2014, and is available in 10 mg, 20 mg and 30 mg tablets. 

Per manufacturer’s instructions, patients taking Otezla should have their weight monitored regularly by a healthcare professional. If clinically significant or unexplained weight loss occurs while taking Otezla, the patient should be evaluated and discontinuation of therapy should be considered. The most common side effects experienced by patients taking Otezla were diarrhea, nausea and headache. In clinical trials, patients taking Otezla were also associated with more reports of depression compared to those patients on placebo.

 

 

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Military retailer Exchange conducts in-house product quality testing

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS – In the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s Quality Assurance testing facility, it is not uncommon to see a flicker of light through the blinds or to experience the faint smell of burning plastic seeping up from under the closed doors. 

Military shoppers expect the products they purchase to meet high standards for safety and quality, and the Exchange takes steps beyond federal regulations to ensure customers can be confident that the diamond engagement ring is genuine, the baby’s crib is secure and kids’ toys are safe.

The Exchange employs 19 associates in making up the QA team including two Gemology Institute of America alums who ensure the value, authenticity and quality of the Exchange’s jewelry selection. While QA inspections are primarily visual, many products are also checked for functionality to examine if products are fit for sale and use. 

The Exchange also conducts product testing or evaluations based on customer complaints and concerns. Select samples are also tested from outside labs to ensure the consistency and integrity of vendor or manufacturer’s test results.

“There is nothing more important than ensuring all of the products we carry are safe for our soldiers, airmen and families,” stated the Exchange’s deputy director Maj. Gen. Joseph Ward. “Whether it’s a car seat for children, pieces of tactical gear or a household cleaning product, Exchange inspectors carefully test merchandise before it goes on our store shelves.” 

 

 

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