Save Mart Supermarkets and Cargill Beef raise awareness and money to help build specially adapted homes for post-9/11 veterans with life-altering injuries
MODESTO, Calif. and WICHITA, Kan. – Army Sergeant Brian Jergens, his wife and newborn daughter received an early Christmas present this year – keys to a new home. Sergeant Jergens, a medic, was driving a HUMVEE during his first deployment to Afghanistan on August 7, 2011, when it hit an IED causing him to suffer severe traumatic injuries. This gift was made possible by Homes for Our Troops through the support of Save Mart Supermarkets and Cargill Beef.
Save Mart Supermarkets participated in a community outreach initiative and in-store ground beef promotion to create public awareness and sponsor Homes for Our Troops, a 501(c)3 charitable organization created in 2004. The nonprofit group helps injured veterans by raising funds and organizing the construction of custom-built, fully accessible homes. Involvement from Save Mart and Lucky on the promotion yielded $4,733 for Homes for Our Troops.
From July 31 through September 3, Save Mart and Lucky joined other grocery retailers across America participating in the “Help a Hero Come Home” initiative. During the promotion, highlighted on specially marked packages of ground beef, Save Mart displayed point-of-sale materials in support of Homes for Our Troops, including posters, signage and a localized handout featuring Army Sergeant Brian Jergens (http://hfotusa.org/jergens) of Hollister, Calif., the recipient of a home from the nonprofit organization. As part of the awareness effort, Sgt. Jergens threw out the first pitch at the August 25th San Francisco Giants baseball game at AT&T Park (https://hfotusa.org/their-stories/featured-video).
“Save Mart Supermarkets and our guests passionately respect and value heroes such as Sgt. Brian Jergens and the many others who serve our country, all of whom make sacrifices,” said Steve Junqueiro, president and chief operating officer of Save Mart Supermarkets. “Homes for Our Troops provides a special and very important service to those veterans injured in the line of duty, and it is our honor to be able to support the organization and give these veterans homes tailored to their individual needs.”
The ground beef promotion was part of a broader yearlong Cargill Beef initiative in support of Homes for Our Troops, previously announced in June. The effort includes in-store awareness, burger grilling events and other retailer support throughout the United States. Funds raised during the initiative are being used for materials and labor to build homes provided to qualifying injured veterans at no cost. More than 1,600 U.S. military veterans have incurred life-altering combat injuries during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom, requiring specially adapted homes. Homes for Our Troops is working to meet this need, having built more than 130 homes in 35 states and constructing approximately 40 houses annually. Homes for Our Troops has built or has current plans to build 22 homes for injured veterans in California and Nevada.
A dedicated website for the initiative – HelpAHero.com – provides more information on Homes for Our Troops and its mission, in addition to instructions regarding how to make a donation.
“It is an honor and a privilege to partner with Save Mart and Lucky Supermarkets to boost awareness and raise money to support an organization with a mission as meaningful as Homes for Our Troops,” said Katie Blick-White, associate brand manager for Cargill Beef. “These deserving military heroes gave so much serving our country, and it feels good to be able to help provide them with a place, built specially for their needs, that they can call home for themselves and their families.”
About Homes for Our Troops
We are Homes for Our Troops, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)3 organization founded in 2004. We are strongly committed to helping those who have selflessly given to our country and have returned home with serious injuries since September 11, 2001. It is our duty and our honor to assist severely injured veterans and their immediate families by raising donations of money, building materials and professional labor and to coordinate the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently.
About Save Mart Supermarkets
Save Mart Supermarkets, a California corporation, owns and operates 226 stores in Northern California and Northern Nevada under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, Maxx Value Foods, and FoodMaxx banners. Headquartered in Modesto, Calif., since the company was founded in 1952, Save Mart Supermarkets has always believed in supporting local suppliers and producers, and is actively engaged with the charities and causes of the communities where its stores do business. For more information on the stores of Save Mart Supermarkets, please visit www.SaveMart.com, www.LuckySupermarkets.com, and www.FoodMaxx.com.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 65 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit Cargill.com and its news center.