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Price Chopper to the rescue

Many people in the Salvation Army’s Empire State Division call Price Chopper/Market 32 supermarkets the “perfect partner.”

“We get several hundred thousand dollars a year from the kettles we stand at Price Chopper stores and that’s been going on for a long, long time,” says Tom Whalen, director of major gifts for the division. “They’ve helped us raise millions of dollars just by letting us stand kettles at their supermarkets.”

The relationship between Price Chopper and The Salvation Army reached another level this year. The supermarket chain allowed a “roundup campaign” at all of its 130 stores throughout New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

The effort raised $73,500 and went to Salvation Army corps, as determined by the zip codes of the stores.

Price Chopper is based in Schenectady, N.Y., and most of the stores are in the Salvation Army’s Empire State Division.


Surpassing the goal

Sarah Miller–Locke, director of advancement for the Empire State Division, said partnerships like the one with Price Chopper helped the division exceeded its Christmas kettle goal of $3.5 million. The division took in $3.8 million despite COVID-19 hampering kettles and other fundraising efforts.

“If we hadn’t had partners like Price Chopper step up and help us, it would have been a lot tougher to meet the goal,” Whalen said.

Whalen said the Price Chopper donation grew out of discussions he and Ann Vail, director of the service extension units in the Empire State Division, had earlier this year with the supermarket chain.

“We talked to them in the summer about our concerns for the Christmas fundraising and the red kettle campaign,” he said. “Price Chopper was very quick to propose a roundup campaign as a way to help us during the Christmas season.

The “roundup campaign” worked by asking shoppers to  “roundup” their bill to the next dollar amount. For example, if it was $50.25, they were asked if they would like to make it $51.00 with the difference going to The Salvation Army.

“For them to take this step up during this Christmas season was a blessing,” Whalen said. “It’s the first time they’ve ever done it and it was amazing.”


Trusting the Army

Mona Golub, vice president of public relations and consumer services for Price Chopper, said the chain raised $68,500 through the “roundup campaign” and Price Chopper also donated $5,000.

Price Chopper put out a statement that read, “We are beyond grateful that, once again, our customers and teammates answered the call, raising vital funds to help The Salvation Army serve as many families and individuals in need as possible.”

Golub said Price Chopper has partnered with The Salvation Army in the past on back-to-school programs and other initiatives.

“We recognize that The Salvation Army, literally and figuratively speaking, has boots on the ground in all of the communities that we serve, and relationships as well,” she said. “We have faith in their ability to help get the support and goods that are needed to those who need them most.”

Vail said Price Chopper could rest assured that the money would be put to good use.

“It’s going to help feed people and help with rents and just your basic need during this COVID season,” Vail said. “It’s an amazing partnership we have with Price Chopper.”

Whalen said, like Price Chopper, The Salvation Army has a huge reach, scope, and impact into the communities it serves.

“We’re just such a natural partner for Price Chopper because our reach is their reach,” he said. “Our footprint is their footprint, and that just makes us a perfect partner with them.”

by Robert Mitchell

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