Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

October 11, 2013

'People Helping People' initiative looking for more volunteers

Grocery store-driven program helps feed families that don't have many resources

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Ten percent of your grocery store sales could go toward helping feed families in need over the holidays. Officials working with the 2nd-annual "People Helping People" initiative are aiming to make this happen.

As many as 87 local business, churches and organizations supported this program in 2012, officials said.

Super Gallo Mercado Store Manager Tony Wilburn said Thursday he's hoping more local businesses will be able to donate to the program this year.

"We really are impressed with how many joined last year but we still need more," he said during a telephone interview. "Many businesses that weren't  a part of things can really help by joining the effort this year."

According to program literature, if 600 people spent $50 per week at Super Gallo for the next eight weeks, that would mean $24,000 returned to the community in food items.

By working together, participants can make a true difference in their community, Wilburn said.

"We're hoping as many businesses as possible can become a part of this," he said.

"People Helping People" entails a specified partnership with businesses, churches and organizations — most notably Super Gallo Mercado.

To make use of the program, each donor will be required procure a special purchasing card. In 2012, 5,544 such cards were issued to participants, said store representative Ruth Ferretiz.

The cards must be used at Super Gallo in Suite 200 at 1009 S. Jackson.

"In 2012, 405 baskets were made for the needy," Ferretiz said in an email.

Those who are taking part in the program can provide certain recommendations and they will be used to determine groceries — except, of course,  alcohol, tobacco or WIC Program purchases.  

The program is in addition to any other charitable programs already in place with are churches, organizations and  businesses, officials said.

It runs through Dec. 9. Food purchased with raised funds will be distributed to the recommend families on Dec. 21.

For more information about the People Helping People, contact Tony Wilburn (903) 372-1346 or call Super Gallo Market, (903) 589-7654.