By Natasha Anderson
Ingles Markets’ customer engagement program offers an easy way for shoppers to contribute school supplies to children throughout the region. Over the past 15 years the supermarket chain has donated more than $17 million to schools for the purchase of needed items including audio-visual equipment, computers, musical instruments and lockers. An additional $1 million has been raised through an annual local drive in partnership with Eblen Charities, Asheville television station WLOS and iHeartMedia.
“Nothing is more troubling than a child who is hungry or unequipped to learn,” says Ingles Markets advertising director Melissa Leavell. “As the richest nation on earth, we can do better, and Ingles is thrilled to have a small part in that.”
To participate in the program, customers should visit the Ingles Markets website to link their Ingles Advantage Card to the school of their choice. Then, each time the card is scanned the purchase amount will be electronically recorded for the chosen location. Public and private schools and home school associations are welcome to participate, with supplies going to kindergarten through twelfth grade. Tools are supplied by Kaplan Early Learning, the world’s largest school supply company.
“If Kaplan doesn’t have it, they find it,” says Leavell. “They have been amazing to work with in getting each school what it needs.”
Ingles Markets has been serving communities in the southeast for more than 50 years. The company has approximately 200 stores in North and South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. Community involvement and betterment are a central part of the corporate mission.
“Tools for Schools is successful because education is the foundation that helps overcome so many issues,” says Leavell. “And providing school supplies not only helps students; it also helps teachers who face a huge burden trying to fill in the gaps.”
To learn more or join the program, visit Ingles-Markets.com and click on Tools for Schools under the Savings tab.