Harding’s Markets donates to Helping Hands of Cass County

CASSOPOLIS — In July, many Cassopolis residents chose to round up their grocery bills to the nearest dollar. By doing so, one local food pantry can now feed dozens of families in need.

The Cassopolis Harding’s Markets recently donated $1,056 to Helping Hands of Cass County’s food pantry. The money was collected through the Harding’s “Round Up” program during the month of July. For the program, community members could round up their order totals to the nearest dollar, with the change going to support local food banks. Across all Harding’s locations, nearly $80,000 was raised to support local food banks.

“This all kind of started during the coin shortage, so we developed a program that allowed round up their totals,” said Matt Riggs, the store director of the Cassopolis Harding’s. “We held the change for the whole month and donated it to local food banks.”

Riggs said the donation was a community effort.

“It was a donation, but the community came together,” Riggs said. “It was more from them than us. We just organized it. I’ve always felt that Cassopolis was very active with helping each other out. Not every place is like that. I feel it’s wonderful to be a part of this community and work for an organization that is willing to give back.”

Mary Tompi, of Helping Hands of Cass County, said she was grateful for the donation, adding that it would help the pantry provide healthy food and meats to pantry clients.

“It’s very heartwarming, and it’s always wonderful when the community can come together like this,” she said. “We can’t thank the community enough for their generosity.”

Since March 31 and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tompi said Helping Hands’ food pantry served 1,777 Cass County residents with food boxes that are delivered curbside. She said the donation from Harding’s and the community would allow the pantry to continue to provide to Cass County throughout the pandemic and beyond.

“In receiving this generous check, we will be able to continue providing quality food boxes to those facing food insecurities,” Tompi said.

Tompi said the donation from the “Round up” program was just another example of the kindness and giving she has seen from the Cassopolis community over the years.

“I think a lot of people help because, as the pandemic has made clear, a lot of people are one paycheck away from needing assistance, and you never know when your family might be the one that needs help,” she said. “We are so grateful to the community and hope to continue to bless people with our blessings.”

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