Zallie Family Markets ShopRite Stores raised $80,536 in the Annual Drive to Fight Hunger

Dedicated team members and generous store guests of Zallie Family Markets ShopRite stores worked together to contribute $80,536 in the annual “friendly competition” to fight hunger.

The drive to end hunger in our local communities has a month-long focus in September, which is nationally known as “Hunger Action Month.” Our stores and their team members participate in a contest sponsored by Cheerios-maker General Mills and ShopRite cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. Proceeds go to the ShopRite Partners In Caring program.

A leader in the initiative was ShopRite of Medford, which raised $18,076. Its 21st-place ranking earned the honor of nominating two team members to be pictured on a box of Cheerios cereal. The store also was able to direct a grant to a local organization; that $2,500 donation will go to the food pantry of St. Vincent de Paul in Medford.

The special edition Cheerios boxes do double duty of calling attention to the struggle of those who are food-insecure while also thanking those people who have worked to make a difference.

Representing ShopRite of Medford on this year’s box are Annie Dackis and Val Idell, both residents of Medford.

Annie Dackis is a cashier who has been employed by Zallie Family Markets for three years. She took ownership of pretzels sales – placing orders, managing sales stations and lining up other volunteers. “Annie always has a smile on her face,” Medford Store Director James Cranmer said. “That cheer really spreads to other team members.”

Val Idell has been with the Zallie Family Markets for 35 years and is currently the Floral Manager at ShopRite of Medford. One way she contributed to this year’s Partners In Caring (PIC) drive was to regularly pick up pretzels that store guests bought, with donations going to PIC. Annie also decorated the store with flowers and balloons for that event and other PIC fundraisers.

Representing store owner Zallie Family Markets, Renee Zallie also called attention to store guests who participated in fundraising opportunities last September, such as pretzel sales, a Labor Day 5K through Medford, and the option to “round up” their tab in check-out aisles.

“A big thank you to anyone who came through those lines and helped us fight hunger,” she said.

Cheerios-maker General Mills and ShopRite cooperative Wakefern Food Corp., which sponsor the annual friendly competition, ambitiously set this year’s PIC target at $1.5 million.

Those corporations are “potent hunger-fighters,” said Steven Hildner, program administrator for Wakefern. He also noted that since the competition started in 1999, ShopRite of Medford has earned a spot on every honorary Cheerios box.

“Someone once told me that you can’t have passion without compassion,” James Cranmer said at the celebratory event. “Zallie Family Markets has great passion for what we do, and the compassionate side of that is equally strong. The high level of community engagement and support makes this company so special.” 

PIC distributes all funds collected through this endeavor to regional and community-based organizations that take up the cause of food insecurity – the frightening situation of not always knowing where the next meal will be.

In addition to winning spots on the cereal box, ShopRite of Medford was able to direct a donation to a local charity. That $2,500 check went to the food pantry of St. Vincent de Paul of Medford, as it has in years past. Pantry Manager Jim Quigley expressed his thanks.

“Through the pandemic and other tough economic times,” Zallie and ShopRite have always had our back,” he said.

Also in attendance were Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) leaders Fred Wasiak, president and chief executive officer, and Lavinia Awosanya, chief development officer. Renee Zallie noted that while some of proceeds from the Stamp Out Hunger 5K  go toward the Partners In Caring fundraising competition, a share also goes directly to FBSJ and other local organizations. The Zallie Community Foundation sponsors that Labor Day event.

Before the start of the next competition in September 2024, ShopRite of Medford will find out if it won a second phase of 2023’s contest. Each ShopRite store could design, make and display a cake that showcases this year’s PIC theme of Harvesting Hope. To be eligible for judging, it had to include the PIC logo and Cheerios, and it had to be entirely edible. Placing in the top five would garner another $2,500 check for ShopRite of Medford to donate to a local charity.

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Special Edition Cheerios Box 2024
Anne Dackis, Medford Shoprite
Valerie Idell - Medford
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Cheerios Box Wall
Special Edition Cheerios Box 2024
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Highlight Reel from our PIC Celebration at ShopRite of Medford.

At Zallie Family Markets ShopRite stores, ending hunger in our local communities is at the core of our community programming.  In addition to supporting organizations through ShopRite’s Partners In Caring program, we support other organizations that provide hunger relief for people and animals.

ShopRite of Medford

Carol Christman

Annie Dackis

Linda Bissinger-Crall

Val Idell

Thank You to All of Our Winners