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Help the Hungry as You Get Your Morning Coffee

6-15-12

By Michelle Sartor

Employees at the Elizabeth Dunkin' Donuts show off the Check-Out Hunger information. The location is one of more than 500 in New Jersey participating in the campaign with Community FoodBank of New Jersey to help the state's hungry. It collected hundreds of dollars in the first week of June. Photo courtesy of Anthony Guido.

Patrons of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins can do more than just get a sweet treat at participating locations this month. The chains have teamed up with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to run the Check-Out Hunger campaign for the month of June. Donation slips in the amount of $1 are available at the registers of more than 500 locations in New Jersey and the money benefits the state’s food banks, helping to feed the hungry.

This is the first time Check-Out Hunger has been in a store other than a supermarket, and the first time it’s been done this time of year. “Usually it’s a fall campaign — October, November and at some stores into December — but it’s pretty widespread at supermarkets in the fall,” explained Community FoodBank of New Jersey Director of Public Relations and Communications Anthony Guido. “But this is the first time we’ve ever done a different type of store and also a different time on the calendar.”

Corporate groups like Dunkin’ Donuts have been volunteering for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and expressed interest in doing more for the organization. “We realized quickly, based on high traffic going in and out of their stores, that Check-Out Hunger is a perfect match for what they do,” Guido said.

This Dunkin' Donuts in East Brunswick was one of the locations that reported collecting more than $500 for Check-Out Hunger in the first week of the campaign. Photo courtesy of Anthony Guido.

Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins agreed to the campaign for the month of June, with more than 500 stores in 13 counties of New Jersey participating.

“Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins are committed to giving back to the local communities where we live and work,” said Dunkin’ Donuts Operations Manager Jennifer June. “We’re thrilled to partner with Check-Out Hunger to help those in need and fight hunger in New Jersey.”

Several franchisees agreed. “Spreading the word on how $1 can equal $10 worth of food to feed hungry children is a must,” said Freehold and Manalapan franchisee Anthony Maragos.

“These economic times have hit families hard. As business owners, we believe that we have a moral obligation to our local communities,” said Roseanne Mascia Boylen and Thomas Mascia, franchisees for North and Central New Jersey. “The Check-Out Hunger campaign helps us help others by leveraging our loyal guests’ generosity. We are proud to be associated with the New Jersey Food Bank and both respect and admire the important work that they do.”

Manalapan Dunkin' Donuts employees show off the Check-Out Hunger signage at their location. Customers can donate $1 to the cause when they make their purchases. Photo courtesy of Jennifer June.

So far, the response from customers has been positive. Guido said two stores — one in East Brunswick and one in Elizabeth — collected more than $500 in the first week of the campaign.

Donations from Check-Out Hunger at the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins locations will benefit the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties and NORWESCAP Food Bank.

Check-Out Hunger has been helping Feeding America food banks for 22 years at supermarket chains across the northeast. It has raised more than $1 million per year for the past five years. Since 1991, people have been able to support the program online at checkouthungernj.org.