The Hills Market uses food as a means for connecting and partnering with the community through several philanthropic programs that allows the specialty grocer to work with multiple charities in a way that benefits all parties. Programs include Buy Ohio, Feed Ohio, their reusable bag token program, and the popular Charity Happy Hour.
Buy Ohio, Feed Ohio supports the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. The Hills Market donates a portion of sales of specific Ohio-made products during the holiday season to the foodbank. Customers who use reusable bags are given tokens worth the cost of a typical bag to benefit their choice of three charities.
“We’re intimately involved with our community and actively find ways to become a great community partner,” says Jill Moorhead, marketing director for The Hills Market.
The Charity Happy Hour allows nonprofits to interact with their supporters. A representative from a charity bartends on the market’s Veranda each Wednesday. The charity receives a dollar for each pizza sold, plus tips.
The happy hours also help introduce new people to the market on a weekly basis, and has been found to be more effective than donating items to a silent auction.
“The Charity Happy Hours have been pretty successful and designed to help provide some excitement on our Veranda,” she says.
The happy hours are first come, first serve, and are already booked through October.
The Hills Market looks to support charities in its neighborhood and those affiliated with their regular customers. The market has worked with a variety of charities including Wild Goose Creative, WCBE, Pelotonia, Worthington Food Pantry, Local Matters, and YMCA.
For businesses looking to give back to the community, Moorhead encourages thinking creatively when creating a philanthropic program for themselves.
“Find out what your customers care about and support those organizations,” she said. “You’re supporting the people who support you.”
Philanthropic Pursuit is a monthly feature on The Metropreneur, powered by Community Shares of Mid Ohio. Is your business giving back to the community or partnering with a local nonprofit in a unique way? We want to hear about it. Contact Ryan Kovalaske at firstname.lastname@example.org.