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Climate-friendly crackers and other food for the needy

Airly co-founder Jennifer McKnight (seated, center), along with state Rep. Joe Hohenstein (front, left), Caring for Friends CEO Vince Schiavone (top, right) and volunteers from Giant.
Airly co-founder Jennifer McKnight (seated, center), along with state Rep. Joe Hohenstein (front, left), Caring for Friends CEO Vince Schiavone (top, right) and volunteers from Giant.
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Giant and Airly Foods last week partnered in advance of Earth Day to provide climate-friendly crackers to food boxes prepared at Caring for Friends.

State Rep. Joe Hohenstein, whose parents first began volunteering at Aid for Friends 48 years ago, joined in the assembly line.

St. Louis-based Airly impacts climate in the way it grows oats, invests in carbon credits to offset its footprint from the production process and innovates on the farm and in its kitchens and ingredients.

Co-founder Jennifer McKnight visited Caring for Friends on April 21, a day before Earth Day.

“Earth Day is kind of our Super Bowl,” she said.

Launched last year, Airly offers crackers in four flavors and markets itself to climate-conscious people who “vote with their values.”

As part of last week’s event, Airly donated more than 13,000 packs of crackers. They are available in the Giant natural foods aisle and at airlyfoods.com.

Caring for Friends CEO Vince Schiavone welcomed McKnight and a crew of about 20 from Giant during National Volunteer Month. People’s needs are greater at a time of high inflation and continued supply chain issues.

Community impact manager Jessica Groves, of Giant’s Carlisle headquarters, said the company donated $5,000 and Airly crackers. Giant has been a longtime partner with Caring for Friends.

The Airly crackers were boxed with items such as instant mashed potatoes, vegetables, rice, soup and pasta.

The boxes will go to homebound senior citizens, disabled veterans and others who are offered what Schiavone calls “food and friendship.”

“The caring is as important as the food,” he said. ••

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