Area grocery store gives back
by Haley Ferretti
Nov 24, 2013 | 3054 views | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“A lot of what we think of at Thanksgiving and Christmas is family and fellowship, but a lot of people don’t have that family setting or home,” said Ira Brumfield, store manager of Vowell’s Market Place in Cleveland. “This may not be the ideal Thanksgiving dinner in mind, but I think those people will enjoy knowing that other people care enough to help put food on the table.”

Vowell’s Marketplace is holding it’s second annual “Hunger Knows No Season” program. The money that is donated to the program helps feed needy families during the holiday season.

Five dollars purchases one bag, which is then filled with nonperishable foods. This year’s bags include items such as a box of crackers, a pound of rice, cans of beans, tomatoes and a box of cornbread mix.

“For someone who doesn’t have a lot of food, that nine or 10 pound bag can feel like a ton,” said Brumfield. “People are very appreciative.”

Every Vowell’s Market Place donates the bags within it’s own community. The bags are delivered to local churches, shelters, and organizations, which then distribute the bags however they see fit. Helping Hands plays a large role in distributing the bags within the Cleveland community.

“We have a lot of bags made up already,” said Brumfield. “Our cashiers ask our customers if they would like to donate… We are here to serve our customers, and this is a way to help feed the ones we don’t get to see as often.”

Cleveland’s own Vowell’s has also decided that for every bag purchased, the store will donate that same dollar amount to the United Way of Cleveland-Bolivar County.

The program was originally established in 2012 by a Vowell’s store in Meridian, Miss. The Cleveland location turned over 200 bags to needy families that year.

“We’re going to run until Christmas Eve,” said Brumfield. “It’s a little longer than scheduled but we want to help out as many families as we can.”

Brumfield also described how happy he has been with this year’s jump in bag sales due to the community’s overwhelming generosity.

“Last year, the program wasn’t exactly where we wanted it to be, but since November 1st of this year over 5,000 bags have been purchased out of all of our stores,” said Brumfield.

“People are being very generous. Someone came in and bought 24 bags just the other day!” exclaimed Brumfield. “We’re overflowing with bags and I see that as a good problem to have.”