Chicago, IL based IGA today announced late last week that it has joined forces with Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) in its fourth annual IGA Exclusive Brands donation initiative. During this national campaign—running in participating IGA stores from Memorial Day Weekend (May 26) through Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1)— a number of WWP co-branded IGA Private Brand products will be available for purchase in participating IGA stores. By fall of this year, IGA plans to donate $250,000 to WWP.
For 2014, IGA will again make available specially marked cases of WWP-branded IGA bottled spring and drinking water, as well as WWP-branded IGA hotdog and hamburger buns and WWP-branded IGA ice cream.
As in years past, select IGA Red Oval partners, an alliance of the industry’s premier food manufacturers and service providers who partner with IGA to provide extensive resources that are unavailable to other independents, will be joining in with a contribution from displays placed in IGA stores. Kraft featured beverage enhancers include MiO, Crystal Light and Kool-Aid. Again this year through a partnership with The Hershey Company, Mondelēz International, and Kraft Foods, IGA retailers will also be offered S’mores ½ – ¼ pallet ready displays (PRDs) that include Honey Maid Graham Crackers, Kraft Jet Puffed Marshmallows and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars.
Additional funds added to the total will come from retailers’ own fundraising efforts held through community events and in-store campaigns and the IGA WWP Golf Outing held on June 9 at Cantigny Golf Course in Wheaton, Ill. (visit http://www.golfinvite.com/IGA-WWP for more information and to register to attend). Also, outside the total but contributing to the cause in the name of IGA are consumer donations made through the IGA WWP microsite on www.iga.com.
New to the program this year, IGA retailers will be provided with social media components like approved messaging and graphics that will help them connect with their shoppers on Facebook and Twitter to build awareness of their participation in the IGA WWP program. Also new is point of purchase signage that demonstrates WWP’s holistic approach to serving injured service members through programing devoted to four pillars: Mind, Body, Engagement, Economic Empowerment.
IGA Senior Vice President of Procurement & Exclusive Brands Dave Bennett anticipates that these new elements will make a positive contribution to the overall impact of the program. “Over the past three years we have been overwhelmed with the support our independent IGA retailers and their IGA shoppers gave this Wounded Warrior Project event, and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with our IGA retailers, Licensed Distribution Center partners, Exclusive Brand suppliers and Red Oval partners Kraft Foods, Mondelēz International, and The Hershey Company to raise funds and awareness for Wounded Warrior Project again in 2014,” Bennett said. “When you add in new elements that will help retailers connect with their shoppers in exciting new ways and also give shoppers an idea of how specifically their donation is helping, we believe our impact will be bigger and better than ever. We look forward to seeing how IGA’s innovative retailers will use these new tools and the event as a whole to benefit Wounded Warrior Project’s important mission to honor and empower our nation’s wounded warriors.”
More than $675,000 has been donated to WWP in the name of IGA retailers since 2011.
According to WWP, more than 51,000 service members have been injured in the recent military conflicts. In addition to the physical wounds, it is estimated as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment.
Fifty thousand injured veterans and nearly 7,000 caregivers receive support each year through WWP’s 20 diverse programs and services that are uniquely structured to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement.