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El Centro’s Grocery Outlet’s 1st Annual “Independence from Hunger” campaign raises money for local charities

More than 400 Grocery Outlet locations collect donations to be distributed to local food agency partners - CBS 13 on your side's Vanessa Gongora reports

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, an extreme-value grocery retailer launched it's 12th consecutive Independence from Hunger Food Drive to combat food insecurity.

With El Centro's Grocery Outlet barely coming up on their one year anniversary in August, they were finally able to participate in the Independence from Hunger Food Drive this year.

From June 29 to July 31, 2022, the campaign will collect cash donations and pre-made bags of nonperishable foods in-store at Grocery Outlet’s.

With inflation on the rise, many more families have turned to local food banks for help.

The El Centro store is partnered with the El Centro Catholic Food Pantry and Calvary Chapel Food Ministries.

One of the Independent Owner Operators of the El Centro location, Gloria Pineda, along with her husband Jason Pineda, says this is important especially for the Imperial Valley.

"This is one reason why we joined Grocery Outlet because we thought how great would it be to provide food to a community and here in El Centro, some of the areas are like a food desert, there's not a lot of options for some parts of the valley," says Pinedo. "So this gave another choice and not only another option but where a customer will save 40-70% on everyday brands that they love."

Customers can help in many ways.

If $5 is donated, the customer will receive a $5 coupon back to use in a future purchase of $25 or more.

Customers can purchase a pre-made bag that is complete with an assortment of groceries selected by the local food agency and then place it in a collection bin at the front of the store.

An in-store donation can be made at the register. Donations will benefit the store’s local food agency partner. Donate $1, $5 or round up your change or you can donate online by visiting GroceryOutlet.com/Donate.

"Every penny stays local, that's really important to us," says Pineda. "We want our community to know not only are we doing something to help hunger, but it's here in El centro, not somewhere far off." 

According to Pineda, their goal is to raise $5,000 by July 31, and as of Thursday, they have raised $2,453 for their local food bank partners.

Tony Espino, El Centro Calvary Chapel School Administrator, says it's crucial to help people in the valley living with food insecurity.

"Because we are a close knit community and with the prices, with the things that are going on with what we are seeing and the changes that are taking place around the country, it effects Imperial Valley," says Espino.

Families who are in need of food can visit the El Centro Calvary Chapel during office hours, 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday and Sundays from 9:30 am to noon. The chapel is located in El Centro at 1923 Austin Rd.

Article Topic Follows: Imperial County
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Vanessa Gongora

Vanessa Gongora joined the KYMA News 11 team in 2021.

You can contact her with story ideas at vanessa.gongora@kecytv.com

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