Meijer has launched a holiday meals program that is designed to support restaurants—an industry hard-hit by the ongoing pandemic—and show appreciation to the front-line workers in its stores and distribution centers.
Through Christmas, every Meijer store and distribution center will provide four holiday meals catered by a different restaurant from its community to thank its team members for their dedication and hard work.
"As a family-owned Midwestern company, we know that communities are built around local businesses," Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said. "These meals not only show our support of our team members, but also of the local businesses our communities depend upon. Both groups truly deserve a little extra appreciation this holiday season."
With nearly 300 Meijer facilities hosting multiple holiday appreciation meals in the coming weeks, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer estimates local businesses will cater more than 1,000 holiday meal events in its facilities by the end of the year, serving more than 250,000 individual meals to its team members.
"It means a lot to have Meijer's support," said Chef Timothy Sizer, owner of Timothy's Restaurant in Union Pier, Mich., who provided 275 Hawaiian chicken stir-fry meals to the Lincoln Township and Benton Harbor Meijer stores last week. "It was a huge boost for us. I was able to bring in three extra people to help prepare the meals on a day we wouldn't normally be open. They were thrilled for the extra shifts."
Timothy's Restaurant has offered upscale farm-to-table dining for the past 20 years, but, as is the case with many restaurants, Timothy's has seen its volume drop by 80% this year due to the pandemic, and Sizer had to reduce his team of 35 to six.
Having partnered with Sizer in March on a similar initiative to feed store team members from local restaurants being affected by the pandemic, Lincoln Township Store Director Rob Vassar was eager to support him again.
"We are so pleased to be able to provide such a high-quality meal for our team members as a sign of our appreciation," Vassar said. "The food is great, and it's made even better by knowing we're supporting a local business when they need us."
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