Combined Community Services announced a partnership with Meijer this fall to provide hunger relief to local families through the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer’s customer-driven food pantry donation program, Simply Give.

“It is not unusual for Dane’s Family Pantry to help feed over 30 families in a day and participating in Simply Give through Meijer allows us to purchase much-needed food to fill gaps in our inventory and to better serve our community,” said John Parker, director of emergency assistance with Dane’s Family Pantry at CCS.

Each Meijer Simply Give campaign replenishes the shelves of more than 245 food pantries in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The program encourages customers to purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards, which are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to a local food pantry in the store’s community.

CCS will benefit from donation cards purchased at the Warsaw Meijer store through Sept. 28.

“We encourage community members to help us fulfill our mission of helping feed the hungry in Kosciusko County by purchasing a Meijer Simply Give food donation card during their next shopping trip,” Parker said.

For the eighth consecutive year, Meijer will contribute at least $1 million to the 2019 Simply Give program.

The Simply Give program runs three times a year: spring, fall and holiday. Since the program began in November 2008, more than $50 million has been generated for food pantries in the Midwest to distribute to hungry neighbors.

“Food pantries continue to struggle with keeping up with the flood of requests they receive daily,” Meijer spokeswoman Christina Fecher said. “The Simply Give program is a way for Meijer customers to partner with us and support the food banks and pantries that provide food to our hungry neighbors in the communities we serve. We certainly couldn’t do it without the support and commitment of our generous customers and team members, who stand beside us in this effort.”