Armada Hoffler donates $60,000 to help food bank with loss of Farm Fresh meals

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Armada Hoffler President and CEO Lou Haddad with Ruth Jones Nichols, president of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, on May 30 after the real estate company donated $60,000 in the food bank’s Hunger Heroes Corporate Food Frenzy.

When Lou Haddad and Dan Hoffler read about the dent Farm Fresh’s closing would have on the food bank, they decided it was time to act.

Armada Hoffler donated $60,000 to support the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. Haddad is the Virginia Beach-based real estate company’s president and CEO, and Hoffler is its founder and executive chairman.

“We support a number of children’s causes in our charitable giving and outreach programs,” Haddad said. “We read about the immediate critical need for the children who have to be eliminated from the backpack program. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Due to the closing of Farm Fresh, the Foodbank will lose about 312,500 meals usually provided to children during summer. The food bank aims to provide 3.5 million meals this summer. Jones Nichols said the food bank needs to raise $172,375 to meet its initial Hunger Heroes goal for providing 180,000 meals and fill the gap resulting from the loss of Farm Fresh meals.

Haddad called the Foodbank’s CEO Ruth Jones Nichols to let her know Armada Hoffler wanted to donate $50,000.

Unbeknownst to them, the Foodbank had launched a campaign the very same morning to entice corporations to help them raise $60,000.

Haddad immediately increased the donation to $60,000.

“We hope the rest of the business community will step up to help,” Haddad said. “It’s so important for us to support our local community. Our hearts are here at home.”

“We hope these donations will spark a domino effect, in terms of corporate support focused on ending hunger,” Jones Nichols said, noting they felt a sense of urgency when they learned of Farm Fresh’s closing.

All donations support the inaugural Hunger Heroes Corporate Food Frenzy and Summer of Service, an initiative focused on collecting food and funds to help those faced with hunger.

It works like this: Until June 9, participating companies earn points when employees collect cash and food donations. From June 9 to Sept. 11, employees can earn more points by volunteering at a nonprofit of their choice. Points will be tallied and an awards ceremony in September will recognize the winners.

Several businesses, including Jo-Kell, MacArthur Center, the Nicholson AAAA Charitable Foundation and Safelite Auto Glass signed on as early adopters for the campaign by donating $2,000 each. Food Lion also donated $2,000 in food.

Every dollar raised enables the Foodbank to provide three meals.

By Sandra J. Pennecke

This article is originally published on Inside Business: