The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana announced the results of the 2019 Strack & Van Til Checkout Challenge, which raised a record-breaking $194,774 to benefit individuals and families facing hunger in the Region. The amount represents the combined efforts of customers across Northwest Indiana choosing to “round up” their bill at the register when shopping at the 20 Strack & Van Til stores in the area.

“This year’s Checkout Challenge results reveal the tremendous impact of a community rallying together to help our neighbors”, said Victor A. Garcia, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.  “Customers of Strack & Van Til accomplished this by caring enough to contribute spare change from a grocery bill”.

“The real credit belongs to our customers. This is from people contributing pennies and nickels and dimes, proving that small acts can make an incredible impact,” said Jeff Strack, CEO and President of Strack & Van Til. “We’re fortunate to be able to play a part in connecting our customers and the community to such a worthy organization.”

The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana also acknowledges the role that Strack & Van Til employees played in the success of the Checkout Challenge. “We are extremely gratefully to Strack & Van Til cashiers and store managers for supporting our efforts, by simply asking customers to “round up” their bill,” said Garcia. They consistently asked because they understand that each dollar raised provides critical food assistance to those who need it most. With the total raised, we can provide more than a half a million meals to hungry children, seniors, individuals and families in our community.

The Food Bank celebrated the success of the campaign today with a luncheon to recognize the stores and the cashiers that generated the largest donations during the Checkout Challenge, which has taken place the last 8 years during November and December.  Store amounts were translated to meals to stress the impact of the donations. The top three stores were Highland, which raised 53,942 meals; Valpo Calumet Ave, which raised 53,345 meals; and St. John, which raised 53,015 meals. The top cashiers were Mary K. from Valpo Town & Country, raising 7,216 meals; Tara C. from Chesterton, raising 6,262 meals; and Lawanna O. from Highland, raising 5,915 meals.

The Food Bank concluded the celebration by recognizing Strack & Van Til as a 2020 Premier Partner, and commended Jeff and Shawn Strack for their continued leadership, support and contribution to hunger relief efforts in the Region, and to the community at large.

“Strack & Van Til is Indiana’s grocery store and has been a long time partner of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana,” said Garcia. “There is strong alignment with our mission and values. The generosity of the customers and the support of the entire Strack & Van Til team during the Checkout Challenge reflects the value of that relationship to the community.