February 5, 2017
KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL RECOGNIZES GIANT/MARTIN'S WITH NATIONAL COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT AWARD
Carlisle, PA. (February 6, 2017) - Keep America Beautiful recently honored GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN'S Food Markets with its 2016 National Community Improvement Award for Waste Reduction and Recycling. GIANT/MARTIN'S Bags to Benches program was an integral part of Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania.
Keep America Beautiful's National Awards program recognizes the best of the best among the Keep America Beautiful network of more than 620 state and community based affiliates, leading corporate partners and individual volunteers across the country who have committed to delivering cleaner, greener and more beautiful communities.
"On behalf of all of our associates and customers, I want to thank Keep America Beautiful for this great honor," said Tom Lenkevich, GIANT/MARTIN'S president. "We're especially excited to partner with our customers who have participated in our Bags to Benches program by recycling their plastic bags at all of our locations. Every bag we recycle together won't end up in a landfill."
It takes approximately 10,000 plastic bags to make one park bench. Since 1997, nearly 15 million plastic bags have been turned into more than 1,700 benches which GIANT/MARTIN'S has donated to local community fire departments, churches, schools, townships, parks and playgrounds.
"We're thrilled that our loyal friends and dedicated partners at GIANT/MARTIN'S work was recognized with a Keep America Beautiful National Award," said Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful who also serves on the Keep America Beautiful national Board of Directors. "Programs which bring together grassroots community organizations, citizens, government and industry for the greater good is the most powerful way to create meaningful, lasting change to help end littering,improve recycling and beautify communities in Pennsylvania and across the country."
GIANT/MARTIN'S has set a company wide goal of getting to "zero waste" by 2020, diverting 90% of waste going into landfills and incineration through the expansion of recycling programs and food waste reduction.
These recycling programs have included better bagging efforts and encouraging customers to use reusable bags each and every time they shop which has resulted in GIANT/MARTIN'S and its affiliated companies eliminating one billion grocery bags from the environment over the past five years.
In addition GIANT/MARTIN'S donates bakery items and other dry goods to regional food banks, and high quality meat products through its Meat the Needs program. Since its inception, Meat the Needs program has donated more than 2.6 million pounds of meat to help feed those in need in the communities they serve.
GIANT/MARTIN'S is committed to working every day to help its customers save money, save time and eat well. Founded in 1923 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, GIANT/MARTIN'S operates nearly 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, under the names of GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN'S Food Markets. GIANT/MARTIN'S employs more than 33,000 associates and is a division of Ahold USA. In addition to working with hundreds of local and regional organizations annually, GIANT/MARTIN'S has a long-standing focus on efforts to eradicate hunger and improve the quality of life for children. GIANT/MARTIN’S is one of the top ten fund-raisers in the country for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. The company was also recognized as 2015 Chain Retailer of the Year by Grocery Headquarters. For more information visit the GIANT or MARTIN'S websites. Find GIANT and MARTIN'S on Facebook and on Twitter @GiantFoodStores or @MartinsFoodMkts.