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• Supermarket helps Salvos ease the cost of living


Nic, a Service Supervisor at IGA, with the Cup of Kindness pledges.

BY LAUREN MARTIN

 

A supermarket chain that has been partnering with The Salvation Army in mission for more than 30 years has launched its latest support campaign – Cup of Kindness.

 

Ritchies IGA has supermarkets in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and regularly supports The Salvation Army through its Ritchies Community Benefit Program, where customers who shop at the store nominate a charity of choice and a small percentage of their shop is paid to that organisation. Over the years, The Salvation Army has received $1.9 million from the initiative, which goes directly into services to help Australians in need.

 

The supermarket is so passionate about the Salvos that it has created a space for missional activity within its stores. Ritchies IGA is involved with The Salvation Army’s Tools for the Trade program, where students are given an opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to work in the supermarket industry. 


In 2019, Ritchies received a Salvation Army ‘Others’ award for its long-term support.

“The students buddy up with a staff member for a few hours and work on the register, filling up grocery shelves, assist in the dairy and freezer departments and afterwards share some lunch and chat about what they have done,” says IGA Ritchies Community Benefit Coordinator Penny Sayer.

 

“Some of the students really enjoy the experience and afterwards bring their resume to the store manager to apply for a casual job.”

 

The program has been running for the past six years (except during COVID lockdowns). It enables young people connected with The Salvation Army to access work skills and experience.

 

For this year’s initiative, the $5 Cup of Kindness campaign, Ritchies has partnered with soup giant Continental, giving customers an opportunity to purchase a card copy of a cup of soup for $5. They also can write a kind word on their card that will be passed on to people in need whom The Salvation Army supports.

 

The proceeds can support a person in need with a meal, which is so important as times are tough in our economy and so many people are struggling,” says Penny.

 

The Salvation Army’s vision statement emphasises that we can’t fulfil our mission alone. Jesus himself, in sacrificing his life on the cross for our Salvation, also pointed to the importance of partnership as he sent his holy spirit and invited followers to partner with God in the positive transformation of our world.

 

The Salvation Army’s Andrew Hill says having partners like Ritchies IGA is an important aspect of the Army’s mission: “The Salvos are proud to be partnering with Ritchies IGA Supermarkets again with this incredible initiative.”

 

The Cup of Kindness campaign runs nationwide until 2 April in Ritchies IGA stores.

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