Ridley’s donates $3,500 shopping spree to food bank

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Eric Lafferty wasn’t the typical shopper at Ridley’s on Wednesday. As he piled hundreds of cans of corn in his cart, customers looked on in curiosity.

Lafferty is the communication director of the Community Action Food Bank, and he wasn’t filling his cart for himself. Ridley’s, with the help of Pepsi as a sponsor, donated $3,500 to the food bank for a shopping spree in their Orem Center Street store Wednesday. For every dollar the food bank received, they were able to get 17 pounds of food.

[media-credit name=”Luke Hansen” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Eric Lafferty, Communications Director for Community Action Services and Food Bank, pushes a grocery cart full of groceries on Wednesday at Ridley's on Center Street in Orem. Community Action Services had a $3,500 shopping spree to benefit their food bank from donated funds from Ridley's Grocery Store and Pepsi.
“In a lot of ways, money goes a lot farther than actual donations,” Lafferty said. “It’s great for someone like Ridley’s who gives us this than actual donations at cost because it allows it to go a lot farther.”

 

Eight carts full of toilet paper, hygiene supplies and hundreds of cans later, the food bank was able to replenish its much-needed supplies for the summer.

“During the school year, we have a lot of schools that are donating, BYU being one of them through the BYU vs. U of U food fight,” Lafferty said. “But during the summer when the schools are out, and businesses are a little bit slower, we’re not seeing the amount of donations we typically see. So by the time we get to September or October, we’re running low on items.”

He said it’s huge to be able to come into Ridley’s and stock up on those items they need for the summer. Ridley’s asked for donations and even had a barbecue, sponsored by Pepsi, to help raise funds for the shopping spree.

L.J. Hurley, manager at the 1585 North store in Orem, said company wide, Ridley’s raised $10,600. He said they were able to raise that much because they were active in trying to get donations.

“We were just getting out to our customers and asking them to help out with the food drives,” Hurley said. “We did a Fill A Plate program where they could purchase plates for $1 or $5, and then we take the money we raised off that and we took it into groceries at cost to give back to the food bank.”

The food bank’s administrative assistant in the warehouse, April Cazier, said shopping sprees are convenient because they can purchase the most needed items like hygiene products or canned meats like tuna or chicken because those are the more expensive items people don’t usually donate.

She also said people of all ages are in need in Utah County.

“I don’t think there’s a majority of one that I’ve seen,” Cazier said. “Kids come in. I’ve seen all age groups.”

Cazier also pointed out another item the food bank needs: volunteers.

“Come volunteer,” Cazier said. “We run off volunteers. Volunteers are very high in demand.”

The Center Street in Orem Ridley’s manager, Laurie Dufala, said the store’s employees and customers have had fun doing the fundraiser and plan on doing more in the future.

“We’re going to continue our efforts of raising money to go toward the local food bank,” Dufala said. “We’re continuing on every day.”

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