APACHE JUNCTION — Fry’s Food Stores has a lot to celebrate in Apache Junction this fall with the opening of its Fry’s Marketplace store on Old West Highway.
The nearly 125,000 square-foot store will include amenities such as their ClickList curbside grocery pick-up service, wine bar, cheese shop, full-service sushi station, a bistro with pizza oven, expanded selections of organic products and apparel department.
To help make the community celebration a lot brighter for AJ residents, the store has donated $5,000 to the Apache Junction Food Bank. And that is just a part of what the grocery giant does for the local nonprofit, a food bank which will feed 40,000 regional residents by year’s end.
“Feeding people is more than just our business, it’s our purpose,” said Pam Giannonatti, Fry’s Corporate Affairs Manager. “Meals matter to our customers, but especially to those in need.”
Thanks to a partnership with Feeding America, Fry’s can help partners like the AJ Food Bank in their fight against hunger. The $5,000 grant is just part of what the company does resolutely supporting the food bank’s mission to feed the hungry in the East Valley.
Six days a week, the Salvation Army in Florence and the AJ Food Bank share in picking up perishable food that can no longer be sold. These valuable fresh foods - fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy - are critical components of a healthy and balanced diet, but are often difficult or expensive for the food banks to obtain.
On or before the expiration date, foods are pulled from shelves and refrigerated or frozen to lock-in freshness. Local food banks and agencies able to safely transfer and handle perishable foods pick up the items directly from the stores.
Within a day, those items are given to families coming to the AJ Food Bank. It serves about 70 families a day, eight days a week.
The new Fry’s Marketplace store will be part of this pick-up, as part of Fry’s own perishable donation or food rescue program. Last year, through their food rescue program, Fry’s donated more than three million pounds of food to local agencies.
Over half of the food bank clients reside in a home where at least one adult is working. But many are under-employed and can turn to the Food Bank for 3-5 days of food for their families each calendar month.
“This donation comes at a great time of need for the Apache Junction Food Bank;” explained Board Member Gerry Hundt. “Food is, of course, our main commodity, but funds like this can help us pay for other resources like equipment in our warehouse, a new refrigerated truck, fuel, freezers and staff. We are overwhelmed and so very thankful for this mighty assistance.”
“Fry’s cares about the communities it serves,” Giannonatti says. “This $5,000 donation comes from Kroger Foundation’s Bringing Hope to the Table campaign.
This is part of Fry’s and Kroger’s larger Zero Hunger/Zero Waste plan to end hunger in its communities and eliminate waste in the company by 2025.”