Did you know shopping for milk, bread and apples help you raise money for your child’s school?
Many area and national chains of grocery stores are making fundraising easy by giving back to local schools based on your purchases. Often, all you need to do is register your grocery card and a donation is made to the school of your choice.
Giant has donated over $36 million to schools around the country through the A Plus School Rewards Program. Full time schools, grades kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible to participate. Once a school is enrolled in the program, points are accumulated based on the purchases of shoppers who have registered their Giant card to support that school. At the end of each month, the A+ School Rewards are used to calculate the school’s cash total, which, then, is automatically credited to your school’s account. At the end of the school year, the school receives a check and they are welcome to use the funds any way they wish. The program runs from October to April each year, with card registration coinciding with the start of the school year. Schools must re-register each year and supporters must re-designate what school or schools they wish to support each year. Schools must recruit supporters each year are specifically forbidden from maintaining supporter lists from year to year. Supporters may register to support up to two schools, either at their local store or through the school(s).
Escrip is a program which contributes to local school via your purchases at area stores. Safeway and ShopRite are just two of the hundreds of participating businesses who contribute a percentage of a consumer’s grocery loyalty cards, credit card, and debit/ATM card purchases to the school, group or organization of his or her choice. Since the inception of the program in 1999, over $450 million has been donated to schools and non-profits across the country. Supporters must renew their designation each year. As the list of stores includes chains from across the country, this is a great way to get long-distance friends and relatives to support your child’s school.
Whole Foods has a Community Giving program which allows stores to host “5% Days” where 5% of that day’s net sales are donated to a local non-profit or school. To participate, schools or organization should contact the manager of their local store or fill out an online donation request form.
Lauer’s Supermarket and Bakery has proven you don’t have to be a big chain store to make a big difference for local students. Founded in 1974 by Ed and Helen Lauer, there are currently two locations in Pasadena, Maryland. Since 1997, Lauer’s has been supporting local schools that have registered with the supermarket. Bernadette Snoops, owner and daughter of the Lauers, says to date they have donated over $1 million to the community. Donations are based on consumer sale. There is no need for shoppers to register. When they arrive at the check-out line, the cashier simply asks which school you wish to support and enters it in the register.
Most stores understand the importance of demonstrating a commitment to the community. Whether a school or organization is seeking a onetime donation for an event, or would like to know if there is a rewards program based on sales, it never hurts to visit the customer service counter of your favorite grocery store to ask if there is a program to support local schools or if a contribution is possible.