Gifting holiday meals to local families
Volunteers from Birmingham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and Piggly Wiggly of Central Alabama met at the Community Food Bank of Alabama to combine a wide variety of non-perishable food items and a 2 liter Coca-Cola to create holiday meals that would accommodate a family of four. The promotion started the week after Thanksgiving and will continue until the week of Christmas.
Last year we raised enough money to feed 3,200 families with a holiday meal. By the collective support and donations from businesses, volunteers and the community, we have already surpassed last year’s donations and still have two weeks to go!
Piggly Wiggly, affectionately referred to as “the Pig”, has offered local communities a simple way to give for several years through donations of $1, $5, or $10 dollars. All proceeds go to cover the cost of goods to gift the holiday meals.
“For many reasons, year after year, it’s a joy for us to volunteer and help our good and long-time customer, Piggy Wiggly, provide holiday meals. We’re very much a part of our community, and local businesses gladly support and offer opportunities to help people in our communities in need, as well as help to make good memories.” – Ashlee Jones, Media & Promotions Manager, Central Region, Coca-Cola UNITED
Q&A with the Talk of Alabama:
Can you explain how “The Best Gift Ever” promotion works and who it is helping?
This is an opportunity to donate a Holiday meal for a family in our community. Thanks to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama and Piggly Wiggly, the money raised will feed families in need. You will see a Coca-Cola display in the stores high lighting the program. The cashier at each register will encourage shoppers to donate a $10, $5, or simply donate $1 towards feeding a family of four. At the end of the program, Coca-Cola and Piggly Wiggly deliver the items donated to the Community Food Bank of Alabama to distribute.
What items will make up this “Holiday Meal” when a customer donates $10?
These families are getting a lot for $10 – green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, flour, sugar, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, cranberry sauce, chicken broth, mac and cheese, and a 2L Coke. We want the customers to see where every penny they give is going—every $10 raised is providing a family of four with a great holiday meal.
How can a family in need get one of these Holiday Meals?
The Community Food Bank of Alabama currently works with over 234 organizations (food pantries, shelters, youth centers, schools, etc.) that help distribute food across the 12 counties in Central Alabama. The agencies order the meal bags to fit the size of their food pantry and distribute the bags during the holiday season. So, when families visit a pantry they’re able to receive a meal bag and other resources the organization may be distributing at the time. In my opinion this is a wonderful group to reach. It reaches the level that still own homes but cannot afford the groceries need for a holiday meal.
How did you all name it “The Best Gift Ever” and how long has Piggly Wiggly and Coca-Cola been doing this promotion?
Well I know the name seems basic, but isn’t time with your loved ones breaking bread really “the best gift” of the holidays? We wanted to provide that experience to families who could not afford it otherwise.
This is our third year. Last year we raised enough money to feed nearly 3,200 families—which was about THREE TIMES what we raised in our first year. We are hoping, with your help, to continue to grow that number this year.
After the success last year, what are you doing differently this year to build on the program?
We have expanded our digital presence, updated our artwork, placed billboards around town thanks to Lamar Outdoor. We are broadcasting commercials right here on ABC 33/40. Now that we have numbers from each store from previous years, we have challenged each store to raise more than they did in 2016 or 2017. We believe if we can let people in our community know what we are doing, they will help with our efforts to give back.
What is the best way for consumers to participate and give?
The best way is to shop at any of the 15 participating Piggly Wiggly locations and tell the cashier at check-out that you’d like to donate $1, $5, or $10 to the Community Food Bank of Alabama (for holiday meals). They will be happy to help you!