Organic Valley's Local Heroes Partner with Whole Foods Market to Support Hunger Relief in Three Cities

$7,500 Donated to Food Pantries in Phoenix, Chicago and New York

La Farge, Wis.
April 15, 2010
Contact P.R. Elizabeth Horton
work 207-838-0084 La Farge, Wis.

Three urban food banks and three lucky shoppers were recently named the winners of Organic Valley's Celebrate Organic–Local Heroes contest,aholidayseason grocery retail promotion which invited shoppers to "Share and Save." With each entry to win free products, donations were made to local hunger relief organizations in their own communities. As part of the award, the farmer-owners of Organic Valley made three $2,500 cash donations on behalf of each of the winning shoppers and their preferred store to the local food pantry of their choice.

The winners are

  • Debbie Labinski and Whole Foods Market of Anthem, Ariz., who designated their donation to the Desert Mission Food Bank
  • Tony Zitella and Whole Foods Market of Palatine, Ill., who directed their donation to the Northwest Dupage Walk-In Ministry, a network of food pantries serving those in need in the Chicago area.
  • In New York City, Whole Foods Market and a winner who requested to remain anonymous, gifted the Bowery Mission, which provides New York City's homeless men and women with shelter and clothing.   

Organic Valley's multi-faceted promotion was designed to interact with grocery shoppers during the holiday giving season in a meaningful way, inspiring them to give friends and family the gift of healthy food and a healthier planet, and to join in their community's effort to give the gift of increased food security - to become local organic heroes.

"In these challenging economic times, food banks are struggling just when communities need them the most," said Kelly Gibson, director of relationship marketing at Organic Valley. "This promotion allowed us to raise awareness of the increased need, while offering consumers an easy way to support their communities."

"Every donation makes such a difference to our organization and to the lives of those we serve," said Desert Mission Food Bank executive director Sharon Pierson. "We are grateful to our community partners, Debbie Labinski, the farmer-owners of Organic Valley and Whole Foods Market for their support."

More than 47,000 shoppers participated in the "Local Organic Hero" contest. Overall, 5,000+ retailers participated in the Celebrate Organic campaign, which boosted the sales of Organic Valley cooking and baking ingredients through TPRs, coupons, and the chance to win prizes.

Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned

Organic Valley is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,652 farmers in 33 states and four Canadian provinces, and achieved $520 million in 2009 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit, and the cooperative's farmer website, Organic Valley is also on Twitter @Organic_Valley and Facebook .

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P.R. Contact
Elizabeth Horton
Phone: 207-838-0084
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