Three ShopRite of Medford employees will appear on the chain’s limited edition Cheerios box for 2019, which was created in honor of the chain’s fundraising to fight hunger. MEDFORD – Soon enough, Theresa Arroyo will see her face on a cereal box not because of an athletic triumph, but instead because she champions the cause of fighting hunger.
Three ShopRite of Medford employees will appear on the chain’s limited edition Cheerios box for 2019, which was created in honor of the chain’s fundraising to fight hunger.
MEDFORD — Soon enough, Theresa Arroyo will see her face on a cereal box not because of an athletic triumph, but instead because she champions the cause of fighting hunger.
The 40-year-old Pemberton Township resident said she was honored to be one of three ShopRite of Medford employees who will appear on the chain’s limited edition Cheerios box for 2019, which was created in honor of the chain’s fundraising to fight hunger.
For Arroyo, the cause hits close to home. At one point, food pantries in Medford and Pemberton helped her feed her three daughters.
“It’s a full-circle moment where you want to give back to the community,” she said. “If (hunger) can happen to a full-time working mom, it can happen to anyone.”
Kim Bezanis, the Medford store’s marketing and community relations manager, said that might be why associates fundraise so zealously for Partners in Caring, the chain-wide initiative to help end hunger. Partners in Caring gives financial and volunteer support to organizations helping end hunger, such as the Food Bank of South Jersey, that share communities with ShopRite stores.
For the fourth consecutive year, Medford’s Route 70 store was the top fundraiser among stores from across six states, bringing in over $51,000 according to a ShopRite of Medford statement. The commemorative cereal boxes celebrate ShopRite locations that raised large sums for Partners in Caring.
Bezanis said she chose standout Medford fundraisers to represent Medford on the 2019 Cheerios box; Arroyo will appear on the box with Janet Lentz, of Southampton, and Marty Nowicki, of Voorhees, Camden County.
ShopRite staff members fundraise year-round by asking area restaurants to donate a percentage of one night’s sales to the cause, as Arroyo did; by hosting community activities, like Nowicki did; or by encouraging customers to donate change during transactions, as Lentz did.
“This is a very giving community,” Lentz said in a statement. “Our customers are very nice about donating, and very supportive.”
Each September, ShopRite stores observe “Hunger Action Month,” and the competition to fundraise increases. With 200 to 300 walkers and runners participating annually, the Medford store’s annual Labor Day Stamp Out Hunger 5K brings in individuals’ and sponsors’ donations in droves in the last few weeks of competition, according to Bezanis.
“It’s really the consistency of doing things throughout the year that really helps bump that up,” she said. “But then the 5K is definitely our biggest fundraiser that kind of pushes us over the top.”
Bezanis said it’s easy for the staff to get invested. Arroyo, Bezanis and Nowicki credited the leadership and values of ShopRite of Medford owners David and Renee Zallie for helping drive employees’ community service.
The good cause doesn’t their hurt motivation, either.
“It’s just a great thing that Partners in Caring is, it’s just amazing to see how much is raised in the end,” Arroyo said. She added, “There should be no kid, adult or parent worried about how they’re going to feed their kid or if they’ll go hungry.”
ShopRite’s Partners in Caring was created in 1999, and over two decades, ShopRite staff members have enabled Partners in Caring to give over $48 million to organizations that fight hunger, according to a ShopRite of Medford news release.
As the top fundraiser this year, ShopRite of Medford was allowed to allocate $3,000 from Partners in Caring to an organization of their choosing. $1,500 went to a Medford Saint Vincent de Paul Society food pantry, and an equal amount went to a Saint Vincent de Paul location in Tabernacle, according to ShopRite of Medford.