For longtime employees Lindsay Frederico and Matthew Penner, working at ShopRite of Chews Landing is about more than just serving customers. It's also about helping people in need.
Frederico, who's worked at the supermarket for 13 years, and Penner, who's been there for 11, were honored in a special way for their efforts in raising money to end hunger in South Jersey through ShopRite's Partners in Caring program.
They're among fellow ShopRite employees from across the Northeast who appear on the back of a limited-edition Cheerios box being sold at Shoprites throughout March.
The employees raised a total of $1.25 million for area food banks during September, which is National Hunger Awareness Month.
Frederico, who lives in Williamstown, and Penner, a Blackwood resident, were recognized Tuesday during a ceremony at the store.
The Chews Landing store raised $9,100 this past September, which was donated to Food Bank of South Jersey. The food bank serves residents in Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties, and part of Burlington County.
And, there are plenty of people in need of help: 173,000 people—1 in 6—go hungry in South Jersey every day, said Sabine Mehnert, the food bank's community engagement coordinator. Of those, 57,000 are children.
That's why ShopRite's charity work with General Mills, which makes Cheerios, is so important, Mehnert said at Tuesday's ceremony.
In September, Frederico and Penner helped raise money for the food bank through a series of events at the store, including an afternoon of local dignitaries bagging groceries for customers in exchange for donations.
"The faces on the boxes are faces of people who care about their community in South Jersey," said Gloucester Township Mayor David Mayer during Tuesday's ceremony.
In addition to their faces on 125,000 cereal boxes, Frederico and Penner received copies of the boxes, engraved with their names and encased in plexiglass.