Ocean State Job Lot opened for business in 1977 as a single store in North Kingstown, RI and has been expanding ever since. But it wasn't until 2006 that Foodshare began partnering with the retail giant. It all started out as a seemingly simple offer to donate food when unsalable product became available. As the relationship developed, we would learn just how passionate the owners were about fighting hunger. With a strong desire to help those struggling, they offered support to every regional food bank in New England where they had stores.
Starting with a very generous donation of 84,164 pounds in 2006 Ocean State Job Lot donations grew each year topping over 311,000 pounds in 2011. In the past 5 years, Ocean State has given over 960,000 pounds of food to Foodshare - the equivalent of 716,000 meals for food insecure families in Harford and Tolland Counties.
Each year Ocean State's register campaign is responsible for collecting thousands of dollars from customers at 104 stores throughout New England. The owner then matches every dollar to purchase nutritious food (from lists provided by the food banks) for donation.
And last September's Food Industry Convoy of Caring was our most successful year, thanks to the participation of several new companies, including Ocean State Job Lot. When considering participation, their Director of Marketing, Dave Sarlitto, decided an empty truck would have been a waste of resources - so they filled the truck with over 30,000 pounds of food.
Ocean State Job Lot's partnership with area food banks like Foodshare has resulted in hundreds of thousands of meals that otherwise would not have been available for the growing population of food-insecure neighbors here in greater Hartford. Thank you!