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Meijer Donates Gift Cards To Hungry

Jul 21, 2009, 5:46 PM
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Marketers based in Michigan keep coming up with new ways to help the state cope with its rising unemployment rate.

The latest: Grocery chain Meijer, based in Grand Rapids, says it will donate gift cards to help needy families, with each of its 189 stores providing 100 free $10 gift cards to a local food pantry.

Each of the 18,900 gift cards will be accompanied by a letter from Meijer Co-Chairmen Hank and Doug Meijer. So far, the chain has raised more than $500,000 for local food pantries throughout the Midwest, and donates more than 6% of its net profit annually to a broad group of charities and organizations throughout its five-state base.Sarah Mahoney

1 comment on "Meijer Donates Gift Cards To Hungry ".

  1. Marti Barletta from The TrendSight Group
    commented on: July 22, 2009 at 12:23 p.m.

    You know - I got really excited when I saw the headline... "Wow!" I thought, "Meijer deserves some real props for this program." When I clicked through and found it was 100 $10 gift cards, my reaction was "Oh come on! What good is $10 going to do for someone who is truly hungry? If you have a family, how are you going to give everyone even a sandwich for that amount?!"

    I think this is a perfect example of What NOT To Do in times like these. Anyone who reads about this - let alone a hungry person who needs help! - is going to feel not only disappointed but actually scammed by this promotion.

    Look - if trends in Michigan are anything like they are in the rest of the country - and if anything, I would think they would be even MORE so in Michigan - the Meijer is benefitting from families eating in more, and putting dollars that used to go to restaurants toward groceries for in-home meals. Seriously - a $1,000 program is the best they can do to help the hungry? I guarantee you they spent far more than that publicizing the program - if only to get the press release written and the window signs printed. Give me a break.

    If instead they had distributed 100 $50 gift cards, it would still have been kind of a cheap cop-out at $5,000, but at least the card amount would have made some sense to the people they're supposedly trying to help.

    I feel cheated - and so will Michigan consumers. This is a poorly considered program that will likely result in back-lash and ill will. And the shame of it is - it could so easily have gained them some true benefits and customer bonding.

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