On Thursday, Nov. 18, Safeway will deliver 506 – $50 gift cards to the Marian House Marketplace at 10 a.m. The gift cards are the result of a grant of $25,300 from Safeway’s Nourishing Neighbors Program, which was provided from funds donated by generous customers at checkout stands over the past four weeks.
Providing gift cards to families in need this holiday season is a different approach to the annual Turkey and Santa Bucks program Safeway customers contribute to each year. In the past, a large truck would roll up to the Marian House and unload 1,000+ turkeys with all the trimmings. COVID gave everyone the opportunity to reimagine how Safeway could support struggling families in a more efficient way. Thus, the grocery gift card was developed to allow families to either go to their local Safeway store and purchase the traditional meal components or use it to fulfill the family’s basic grocery needs. The only products not allowed for purchase with the gift card are alcohol and tobacco. A bonus is the gift card is good for a year, so the family does not need to use it all at once. This is the eighth year the Turkey Bucks program has supported Catholic Charities.
Employees from Safeway, along with store management, will be at the Marian House to celebrate this gift. Catholic Charities Marian House staff will begin distributing the gift cards to their clients through the Marketplace food pantry as they come in for their scheduled monthly appointments to shop – at no cost – for 10-14 days of groceries.
Media are invited to the Marian House – 14 West Bijou Street in Colorado Springs, for this amazing show of community support at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2021. Kris Staff – Sr. Director of Public Affairs / Government Relations, Heather Halpape – Communications & Public Affairs Manager, and Shirley Barela – Colorado Springs District Manager, all from Safeway, along with Lorri Orwig – Catholic Charities chief operating officer and Jim Benavidez – Marian House director, will participate in the ceremony. A family who utilizes the Marketplace and will be receiving a gift card will also be present. All will be available for interviews.
“We’re proud to partner with Catholic Charities to address hunger issues in our community,” said Kris Staaf, Sr. Director of Public Affairs for Safeway’s Denver Division. “We hope these gift cards will give our neighbors the dignity of choice to fill their holiday tables with their family’s traditions.”
“We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support from Safeway and their customers through this annual giving drive. This donation allows our community to directly help families and individuals in need in our immediate community and throughout Central Colorado,” said Andy Barton, CEO of Catholic Charities which operates the Marian House Campus, including the Marketplace.
Since 1985, the Marian House Kitchen has been serving people who are hungry in downtown Colorado Springs. Guests include struggling families, children, seniors on a fixed income, the working poor, veterans, people with disabilities, unsupported teens, and people who are homeless. In February 2021, Catholic Charities opened the Marketplace to support the food needs of clients and anyone experiencing food instability. In just the past nine months, more than 125,000 pounds of food has been distributed to families in need.
Catholic Charities will serve a Thanksgiving dinner Thursday, Nov. 25, and a Christmas dinner Saturday, Dec. 25. Both meals are served from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. All are welcome.