Winn-Dixie parent company turns coin shortage into charity drive

Southeastern Grocers' round up campaign lets customers make a difference amid pandemic coin shortage

Coins. (WSLS)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – You’ve probably noticed the signs at convenience stores, fast food restaurants -- well, everywhere, really.

There’s a shortage of coins in circulation in the U.S. because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

People just aren’t spending them as regularly at businesses, many of which are either temporarily closed or not accepting cash.

But Southeastern Grocers, Inc. (SEG), the parent company of Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket, BI-LO and Fresco y Más, is turning that coin shortage into a chance to help several charities with the Positive Change Round Up Campaign.

Starting Friday, customers throughout the Southeast can help combat the coin shortage and support fellow community members in need by simply rounding up their grocery bill to the nearest dollar at check out.

All change donated will be electronically collected and the total will be rounded up to the nearest dollar by Southeastern Grocers to ensure all spare change makes a difference.

“At Southeastern Grocers, we are working diligently to make a difference in the communities we serve and we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our associates, customers and neighbors as the country continues to navigate the effects of COVID-19,” said Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers. “While the nation’s shortage of coins is unexpected, we see this as another opportunity to once again help our neighbors in need and grow stronger together.”

The SEG Positive Change Round Up Campaign will give to several charities at different times during the campaign:

  • From July 24 through Aug. 4, round up donations will go to Feeding America and its network of food banks. Every cent donated will aid in the fight against hunger, an ongoing issue that has increased an estimated 46% during the pandemic and impacts 1 in 6 families throughout the Southeast.
  • From Aug. 5 through Aug. 25, the spare change donations will help support the American Heart Association’s Life Is Why We Give fundraising campaign designed to encourage people to live healthier, longer lives through the prevention of heart disease and stroke.
  • From Aug. 26 through Sept. 29, the donations will support Feeding America for Hunger Action Month, a month dedicated to nationally standing together to fight hunger.
  • From Sept. 30 through Nov. 3, Southeastern Grocers customers in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas can round up to support the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief, which enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from natural disasters. Winn-Dixie customers in Alabama and Mississippi will have the opportunity to support the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and donations from customers in Louisiana will benefit local Ochsner Cancer Institute.

The grocer will continue the round up program in all BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores throughout the remainder of 2020. Every cent raised with the SEG Positive Change Round Up Campaign will go back into the local communities Southeastern Grocers serves through the support of various charitable organizations committed to serving individuals and families in need, the company said.

Southeastern Grocers has a longstanding relationship with Feeding America, the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. The grocer, together with its charitable foundation and generous customers has donated more than $2.5 million in addition to tens of millions of pounds of food to Feeding America through various charitable programs since 2017. Earlier this year, the SEG Gives Foundation donated $250,000 to the American Red Cross to support disaster relief efforts, as well as more than $675,000 raised for the American Red Cross in 2019 with generous support from its loyal customers, dedicated associates and valued vendor partners. Additionally, in 2019, Southeastern Grocers raised more than $659,000 in support of the American Heart Association’s Life Is Why We Give™ fundraising campaign and its mission to save people from heart disease and stroke.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.