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Holiday Shares Donation Benefits Local Food Bank
0226 Savemart Donate
Thanks to generous shoppers, Oakdale Save Mart was able to donate money to purchase approximately two mixed pallets of food from its point-of-sale Holiday Shares program to Oakdale Community Sharing. From left are Save Mart Store Manager John Romine, store employees Cynthia Abrica, Alex Bressler, Steve Neerken, and Lisa Evans, with Richard Nimphius, Vice President of Oakdale Community Sharing, right. Dawn M. Henley/The Leader

Patrons of the Oakdale Save Mart contributed more than $2,100 toward the supermarket’s Holiday Shares program, which ran Nov. 13, 2013 through Jan. 2, 2014, to benefit Oakdale Community Sharing.

Oakdale Save Mart store manager John Romine recently presented the check to Oakdale Community Sharing and said that the he wanted the community to know how it has helped the local food bank.

“I want to get the word out to customers – look at what their generosity bought,” he said. “…Hopefully this (donation) encourages more people to do it next season.”

During the holidays, the store had bags of groceries on display near the registers that represented how much groceries could be purchased with donation increments of $5, $10, $15, or $20.

Romine said that in the past the stores would collect cans but now do the monetary donations because then the food bank can purchase exactly the items it needs at the time.

Ken Narita, Oakdale Community Sharing President, noted that Community Sharing’s pantry is pretty well-stocked right now but there are items they need.

“With that check we’re going to buy food products directly from Save Mart of things that we need… Peanut butter, cooking oil, things like that – things that we don’t have in our inventory or our pantry… Things that were lacking,” Narita said.

Richard Nimphius, Oakdale Community Sharing Vice President, brought a grocery list with him to the Save Mart store to share with Romine. Along with the peanut butter and oil, some of the other items included quick-cooking boxed stuffing, jam, sugar, hot cocoa, and coffee. Community Sharing tries to stretch the dollars as far as possible and looks for items at the best price or on sale.

Nimphius reported that at last week’s food distribution, Community Sharing gave out 228 boxes of food to families. He said that on average, that’s about 30 more boxes than the same time last year but the number has been as high as 265.

The donation from the local store will purchase approximately two pallets full of food, Romine noted. He feels that with the time it takes to do all the processing of the point-of-sale donations, this is good timing for the food bank to receive the donation because the holiday donations have died down and it infuses some cash back into their coffers.

Nimphius said that it’s not unusual for Oakdale to be very generous. He said that Community Sharing is fortunate in that it doesn’t have to go out and solicit. When provisions get low, they just start to show up, he said.

Romine reported that every Save Mart does the campaign and donates the money to its local food bank. He added that nearly $200,000 was raised throughout all the Save Marts in the Holiday Shares program.