We're so thrilled to again partner with the Salvation Army to host the Red Kettle Campaign at our locations across Wisconsin.
You'll be able to find those easily recognizable signs of the holiday season at our 24 Festival Foods in the state as well as Lakeside Foods in Paddock Lake and Festival Foods' newest location on the north side of Green Bay when it opens on Dec. 2.
We hosted Red Kettle Campaign kick-off events at our Menasha and Fond du Lac locations on Friday. We got to talk to the Salvation Army in the Fox Valley on Friday morning and they shared information on everything from who is helped by your donations to how you can volunteer.
The kickoff effort will feature the Salvation Army's Giant Kettle as well as the Festival Foods' Big Cart. Kickoffs will be held Friday at Festival Foods' Menasha and Fond du Lac locations, Nov. 11 at Kenosha and Nov. 18 at Sheboygan.
Money raised during the campaign stays local in each community and is used by the Salvation Army to provide assistance throughout the year to neighbors who face poverty, sickness, unemployment and rising expenses.
In 2015, a total of over $444,000 was collected during red kettle season at Festival Foods locations. That included more than $103,000 raised at Festival's four Green Bay stores, $94,000 at the company's four La Crosse area locations and $80,000 at its three Appleton-area stores.
In addition to hosting kickoff events, Festival Foods encourages associates to promote the campaign and volunteer as bell ringers. The company also displays special signage in stores and offers guests the option of adding a donation to their grocery totals during checkout.
"Festival Foods is proud to promote the Red Kettle Campaign in our stores again this year," said Festival Foods President and CEO Mark Skogen, who also takes time to ring bells each holiday season.
"We know that many of our guests want to support the effort but don't always have cash on them, so we hope that offering to add on to their grocery totals is a convenient option that will raise more money for those in need in our local communities."
Volunteers are critical to the campaign's success, and online bell-ringing registration website is now operational. One- and two-hour shifts between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. are available and may vary by location. New this season – expanded bell-ringing hours until 9 p.m. at many kettle locations and more one-hour shifts to accommodate volunteers' busy schedules. The Salvation Army encourages individuals, families, churches, civic groups and corporations to consider volunteering this year to help make the campaign a success.