(CBS DETROIT) – As food pantries across the Midwest saw an increased need resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic, Meijer and its customers donated more than $7.6 million in 2020 to help them feed hungry families in their communities through the retailer’s Simply Give program.

Simply Give donation cards are available at checkout lanes in all Meijer stores.

“Despite the difficult circumstances many families faced last year, we were proud to join forces with our customers to help those who needed it most,” said Cathy Cooper, Senior Director of Community Partnerships and Giving. “We care about the communities we serve and are committed to ensuring our Simply Give program makes a difference for our food pantry partners.”

READ MORE: Karen Carter, and Others Metro Detroiters Chipped In To Help Salvation Army’s Bed and Bread Radiothon

The holiday campaign alone earned $2.6 million in donations and saw the highest customer participation in the program’s 12-year history. Here is a list of the Top 10 holiday donation recipients:

  • Carmel, Ind. Meijer generated $59,890 for Merciful HELP Center at OLMC Food Pantry
  • Canal Winchester, Ohio Meijer generated $42,360 for the Canal Winchester Community Food Pantry
  • Normal, Ill. Meijer generated $34,800 for Eastview Christian Church Food Pantry
  • W. Saginaw Hwy Lansing Meijer generated $33,790 for St. Vincent de Paul of Lansing St. Gerald
  • Noblesville, Ind. Meijer generated $32,170 for St. Vincent de Paul of Noblesville
  • Cascade Meijer generated $31,970 for Church of the Servant Food Pantry
  • Grand Haven Meijer generated $31,280 for Love in Action of the Tri-Cities
  • Oxford Meijer generated $30,860 for the Oxford/Orion Fish Food Pantry
  • Plainwell Meijer generated $29,500 for Christian Neighbors Food Pantry
  • Northville Meijer generated $29,470 for Northville Civic Concern Food Pantry

The $7.6 million total 2020 donation equates to 76 million meals for food pantries across the Midwest. According to Feeding America, $1 equals 10 meals.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer began its Simply Give program in 2008 as a way to help local food pantries achieve their mission of feeding hungry families. Since then, more than $61 million – or 610 million meals – has been donated to food pantries.

For more information on the Simply Give program, visit meijercommunity.com/simply-give.

READ MORE: Granholm Confirmed By Senate To Be Next Energy Secretary

About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 256 supercenters and grocery stores throughout MichiganOhioIndianaIllinoisKentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, visit www.meijer.com.

SOURCE Meijer