JFS Perspectives

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Whole Foods: A Whole Lot More than Our Neighborhood Grocery Store

Whole Foods: A Whole Lot More than Our Neighborhood Grocery Store

Whole Foods Tamarac recently raised nearly $20,000 for Jewish Family Service (JFS) through two of its community donation programs: Feed 4 More and bag credits. Through Feed 4 More, cashiers ask customers to help fill the cupboards for a family of four by donating $5, $10, or any other amount when they check out. The store chose JFS as this program’s recipient organization for the 2017 holiday season.

“Whole Foods Market Tamarac and Jewish Family Service have a long-standing relationship since our store opened in 2005,” explains Nancy Kaskel, Whole Foods Colorado Metro Marketing and Community Relations. “We’re neighbors, and we both have a strong commitment to our community.” To date, the store has donated nearly 1.5 million pounds of food to the JFS Weinberg Food Pantry, and several staff members have volunteered in the pantry.

Whole Foods Feed 4 MoreThe store’s goal was to raise $14,500 for JFS and offered several incentives to motivate the cashiers to meet this goal. Shelly and Chad from JFS’s Family Safety Net department spoke at two staff meetings before the promotion to educate the customer service team about JFS. Melissa Wisnieski, Customer Service team leader said, “Having JFS staff come to our team meeting helped bring out our team’s passion for the cause.”

Kyle Thielen, a Customer Service assistant team leader, added “JFS has so many valuable services besides food, and it’s always well-received by our customers. The community is passionate about supporting JFS, which made our staff feel good about giving to an organization that is so well loved.”

The cashiers actively asked customers for donations during November and December. The passionate cashiers took this task seriously and raised more than $16,500 for JFS!

Spector was one of the cashiers who raised the most. “I have volunteered at JFS in the past, in the food pantry, and as a para-chaplain,” he said. “If I can’t volunteer there right now, I can represent the organization by helping get donations at Whole Foods. Also, I see a lot of JFS staff in the store, and I love the community feeling.”

Another top fundraiser was Rachel, who shared, “I thought it was incredible that Whole Foods provided the opportunity for people to donate while they shopped. The holiday season is crazy, but it’s important to remember it’s also the giving season, and this provided a quick and easy way for people to give back. I was adamant about asking people for donations.”

In addition to the Feed 4 More promotion, when customers bring in their own shopping bags, they are asked to donate back the 10-cent per bag credit to Jewish Family Service. Since September, Whole Foods Tamarac has collected nearly $3,000 from this program, which will continue through March 23.

“A lot of things have changed since the Whole Foods Tamarac store opened in 2005, but their commitment to our community has never changed,” says Shelly Hines, JFS Family Safety Net director. “They have an amazing team that really understands the value of a strong community and in helping people in need. Our partnership with Whole Foods cannot be replaced because of the generous donations they give us, but also because of their belief and dedication in serving the community.” 

To learn more about how your company can support JFS through fundraising or volunteer projects, please contact Julie Alcorn, Chief Development Officer, at 720.248.4663.