Farmers and grocery stores are a natural match, bringing together the people that grow our food and those that make it available to us in a convenient and affordable way.
In 2021, Rodale Institute formed a partnership with The GIANT Company, a grocery chain headquartered in Pennsylvania, that not only cemented the special relationship between farmers and grocery stores, but actively worked to improve training opportunities for beginning organic farmers.
The GIANT Company and its fleet of stores (GIANT, MARTIN’S, and GIANT Heirloom Market, among others) has observed a rise in regenerative organic demand steadily for years, going so far as to introduce organic-centric aisles into their stores. Realizing the importance of investing in the regenerative organic food system, The GIANT Company decided that the mission of Rodale Institute, steeped in rigorous research and direct farmer training, would make the most impact.
However, The GIANT Company didn’t stop there. While a donation directly to Rodale Institute would have been incredibly impactful, GIANT leaders decided to integrate Rodale Institute into their RoundUp program, where customers can elect to round up their cash register total, with that balance going to select nonprofits and charities.
The result of this decision was the Healing Our Planet campaign, which ran from March to May 2021, in which Rodale Institute was featured alongside other environmental and sustainability organizations as a beneficiary of the RoundUp program. Not only did this campaign raise significant funds for the Institute, but it had the added benefit of educating consumers in GIANT stores about the work of Rodale Institute and its impact directly on the farmers that grow their food.
By the end of the campaign, The GIANT Company and its customers successfully raised nearly $1.2 million for Rodale Institute–a significant donation that allowed the Institute to invest in the future regenerative organic farmers of our country.
A portion of The GIANT Company’s donation helped fund the Rodale Institute Farmer Training Program, an educational internship that trains beginning farmers for a career in regenerative organic agriculture, as well as the Organic Consulting Service, which helps farmers who want to transition their operations to organic. Finally, some of the donation was allocated to help further the Institute’s research into the connection between soil health and human health.
“It has been a joy to really learn about the work and the research that happens here [at the Institute], and I can’t decide what I admire the most about this place,” said The GIANT Company President Nicholas Bertram, at a ceremony presenting the company’s donation in June 2021. “I think, though, that it’s seeing the future agricultural leaders of our country, who are actually learning a better way to make sure that food is sustainable. And I’ve never met anyone else who does that to this level.”
The impact of The GIANT Company’s donation, along with their ability for direct consumer education at the point of purchase, has made GIANT an irreplaceable partner for Rodale Institute–and one that endures. The GIANT Company continued their Healing the Planet campaign in the spring of 2022, resulting in another $1.1 million donation to Rodale Institute’s farmer training efforts.
Thank you to The GIANT Company for your support of Rodale Institute!
Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the regenerative organic agriculture movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and education. Our groundbreaking science and direct farmer-support programs serve as a catalyst for change in farming and food production worldwide. Over our 75-year history, we have proven that organic farming is not only viable, but essential to humanity’s survival.