Grocers Roll Out Breast Cancer Month Campaigns, Health Initiatives

Grocers are in pink mode as Breast Cancer Month gets underway. The annual health campaign, which increases awareness of the disease and raises funds for research, prevention and treatment, has spurred a variety of programs and promotions among food retailers over the years.

This month, Big Y Supermarkets continues its longtime support of Breast Cancer Month by donating proceeds from several store departments to more than two dozen local breast cancer support groups through a Partners of Hope program. Customers can also donate directly to the program online or purchase a pink ribbon for $1 in stores.

Since 2007, Big Y has raised more than $2.5 million for the cause. “During these challenging and stressful times, it has never been more important to take care of one’s health. Thousands of women and many men are impacted each year by breast cancer. With a renewed focus on health and wellness and the importance of breast cancer awareness and early detection, we hope that this initiative can not only help save lives but some day lead to better treatments and ultimately a cure,” said Charles D’Amour, the company’s CEO.

The Winn-Dixie banner has also launched its educational and fundraising programs for Breast Cancer, once again teaming up with the American Cancer Society for that group’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative. Customers can round up their grocery total at checkout to contribute to the cause.

More than $700,000 in customer and company donations has gone to this program over the years. “Our strong relationship with Making Strides allows our communities to come together and support neighbors fighting for their lives as we aid the American Cancer Society in providing crucial resources and community support to those touched by the disease, including my own family when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Winn-Dixie is proud to join Making Strides in offering hope and healing to individuals living with this horrible disease,” said Lynn Rushing, Winn-Dixie’s regional VP.

In addition to fundraising efforts, grocers get involved in other ways to help prevent the disease that strikes more than 200,000 women each year and is the second leading cause of cancer death of American women. The Schnucks chain, for its part, is partnering with Pink Ribbon Girls of St. Louis and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to encourage women in underserved communities in the area to get mammograms. The first 1,500 women to receive mammograms in eligible zip codes can receive a $25 Schnucks gift card and other resources to promote healthy living and eating choices.

“Along with our partners at the Pink Ribbon Girls and the Urban League, Schnucks is answering the challenge and striving to make the community we call home better,” remarked Schron Jackson, director of community for Schnucks.

One of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y operates 84 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut and is No. 76 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. The parent company of Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarket stores, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States and is No. 43 on The PG 100. St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets Inc. operates 111 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, and ranks No. 64 on The PG 100.