Normally, to get on a cereal box, you have to be an athlete, celebrity or cartoon character.
Patricia Casee and Valerie Condran are none of the above. The longtime ShopRite employees earned their place on a special-edition Cheerios box thanks to their efforts to raise money for local food banks.
Their ShopRite, at 11000 Roosevelt Blvd., raised $9,504.58 last September during National Hunger Month, by far the most the store has ever raised during the company’s annual hunger-fighting initiative.
“I am tired of people going hungry in this country,” said Condran, who raised more at the register than any other cashier at the store.
“Kevin McMenamin lit the fire and we went with it,” added Casee, who has worked at ShopRite for 21 years.
McMenamin, who runs the store along with another ShopRite at 9910 Frankford Ave., credited employees for getting excited about the fundraising campaign. He also thanked the store’s patrons.
“This is a tough area,” McMenamin said. “Customers had to really reach down and dig into their pockets and help get us to that goal of $9,000.”
ShopRite also awarded the local store a $500 check, which they presented to the Mitzvah Food Program at KleinLife.
Condran and Casee received citations from state Rep. Martina White’s office. The pair joins about 100 other ShopRite associates in a collage of faces on the back of the Cheerios box, which will be sold throughout March.
Stores in six states competed over a five-week period soliciting donations at registers, community events and through the sale of General Mills products, said Lori Battista, of ShopRite’s social responsibility team.
The top 50 finishers got to showcase employees on the box, and ShopRite of Roosevelt Boulevard finished 28th out of 279 stores. In total, the campaign, dubbed Partners in Caring, raised $1.47 million in 2019, its 20th year.
Scott Smith, of Philabundance, one of the program’s beneficiaries, said the work means a lot in a city where hunger affects one in five people.
“We can’t thank you enough,” he told ShopRite employees. ••