Whole Foods Market at 91st and Metcalf Partners with Shawnee Mission School District on food drive

OVERLAND PARK, KS. (Nov. 1, 2012) – Today marks the beginning of the 5th Annual Whole Foods Market Grab & Give Holiday Food Drive Donation to fight real hunger with real food. This year the Whole Foods Market team members at 91st and Metcalf are asking customers to purchase prepackaged meals at the registers to help feed local students, their families, and the community at large by partnering with the Shawnee Mission School District.

The need for food assistance is an increasing reality for many families belonging to the 3rd largest school district in Kansas. During the 2011-2012 academic year the Shawnee Mission School District officially counted 9,845 students who received free and reduced lunches, which equates to more than 1 in 3 students in need of nutrition assistance. As of this morning, “There are 290 students who are currently homeless, some of whom are living in cars,” according to Alicia Dean, the Federal Programs Coordinator for the Shawnee Mission School District.

In addition, the Food Research and Action Center research shows how a child’s academic performance can be improved with good nutrition, which in turn improves the child’s chances for a bright future. The Shawnee Mission school district is working directly with the families of students in need of nutritional assistance as well as providing a distribution center for the community at large.

The Whole Foods Market Grab & Give food drive began as a community effort to help ensure that local families in need have access to healthy meals. Customers can purchase a pre-packaged meal designed to feed a family of four at the Whole Foods Market on 91st & Metcalf registers. All food from Whole Foods Market including the donated food is free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated fats.

“One of our core values is caring about our communities,” said Jennifer Matascik, marketing specialist, Whole Foods Market 91st and Metcalf. “We are thankful for the generosity of our shoppers and team members who share the gift of good food with those in need during the holiday season.”

And though the Grab and Give program officially ends on January 1st, the giving continues as the Shawnee Mission Educational Foundation will receive a monetary donation from the difference between the food costs and the money raised to continue providing students with nutritional assistance.

“The best part of this program is that it allows us to provide local families in the Kansas City Metro area with healthier foods this holiday season,” said Jeff Davison, team leader, Whole Foods Market 91st and Metcalf. “Our goal is reach $100,000 in Grab and Give donations and we’re eager to make this happen.”

In 2011, thanks to the generosity of Whole Foods Market on Metcalf customers and team members, more than $99,000 in food donations was raised for Cross-Lines Community Outreach. The 2011 donation provided 15,040 meals for families of four in the Kansas City Community. Cross-Lines also received a check for $9,925.08 from the Grab & Give Program.

Donations to the Grab & Give Food Drive are accepted at Whole Foods Market on Metcalf in Overland Park, KS through January, 1st, 2013 at the registers. For additional information, please contact the store.

Details What: Grab & Give Food Donation Program When: November 1st- January 1st, 2013 daily between 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Where: Whole Foods Market 7401 W. 91st Street, OP, KS 66212 Phone (913) 652-9633 (Open to public.)

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About Whole Foods Market® Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (www.wholefoodsmarket.com), a leader in the natural and organic foods industry and America’s first national certified organic grocer, was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” in 2008 by Health magazine. The Whole Foods Market motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures the company’s mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to its 53,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 12 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2008, the company had sales of $8 billion and currently has more than 275 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Whole Foods Market, Fresh & WildTM, and Harry’s Farmers Market® are trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market IP, LP. Wild Oats® and Capers Community MarketTM are trademarks owned by Wild Marks, Inc. About the Shawnee Mission School District: The Shawnee Mission School district is the 3rd largest school district in the state of Kansas and serves students in a 72 square mile area. Learn more about the school district at www.smsd.org. Statistics Source here: http://www4.smsd.org/bobdipierro/docs/Doc-118928.pdf

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