The Philathropic Power of the Pushpin

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A few weeks ago, my daughters were invited to the zoo to celebrate a classmate’s birthday.  In lieu of birthday gifts, they asked that the children bring standard grocery items as a gift to the zoo.  I had never realized that zoos utilize common foods like barbecue sauce, salad dressing, noodles and other common foods as supplements to the animals diets.  What I loved about the idea is that the children were taught something about philanthropy.

We’ve made an effort to teach this to our kids – as an example, last year at Christmas, I made sure they were integral in the Random Acts of Zhu project.  I believe that teaching them about how an act we feel is very simple and easy can mean a lot to someone else.

Recently, Collective Bias asked for participants to talk about the Con Agra Child Hunger Ends Here project.  While I give my time and resources to charities of my choice, I absolutely love when a company utilizes their resources for a charity of their choice.  What sweetens the pot is when we can work together on it.

I was just telling someone last night at the church finance council meeting that I believe someone finds more value in something if they’ve actually contributed to it.  In the Child Hunger Ends Here project, that is exactly the case.

Designated products are specially marked with a giant red pushpin and contain a special code.  Consumers who purchase those products and want to help with the cause are instructed to visit the Child Hunger Ends Here website.  Once there, you have to enter the code found on the product to have that purchase counted.

You may be asking yourself “Why can’t they just contribute based on how many they sell?  Why do I have to punch in a code?” I don’t have an answer to that, but in my case, it has more meaning to me if I’m actually doing it.  It’s also an opportunity for me to teach my kids a valuable lesson.  Or at a minimum, feel like I’m playing a part in a bigger picture.

Anyway, so Con Agra marks certain product packages with this giant red pushpin and a designated code.  When I first read the details of this campaign, I was told to purchase select products at Walmart then enter the codes into the ChildHungerEndsHere website.  My honest-to-God first thought was “So I’m buying a bunch of products and need to open them to punch in a code so Con Agra can donate a meal to Feeding America on my behalf.  Seems kind of counter-intuitive that I’m going to end up wasting food for the sake of a blog post.”

But I figured I would find a way to repackage the products and planned to make use of them in meals this week.  I headed off to Walmart to make the purchases. As I came across the first product, Marie Callender’s Fresh Mixers, I smiled at the sight of that giant red pushpin.  You see, this program isn’t like a bottle-cap redemption program where you get the code from under the cap.  The codes are accessible from the outside of the package.  No need to open them.  No need to waste anything.  It was all coming together now.

I proceeded throughout the store in search of the other products – and was able to find all but Healthy Choice soup.  I was a bit disheartened to see that only limited varieties were available with the promotion making me wonder if the promotion is just beginning and Walmart is trying to burn through their old stock before putting the new packaging out… Or is the campaign just ending and I totally missed it?

Once at home, I sat down at my computer to enter the codes.  What an amazingly simple process.  No registering.  No voting.  No “please share with friends” prompts.  Nothing.  Just enter the code.  It was done is as much time as it takes to enter a few digits.

Aside from the feeling of accomplishment I received from actually participating, Con Agra said thank you in the form of coupons.  For each code that I entered, I was allowed to select a coupon to print.  Gotta love coupons… especially for things that I already purchase.  You know, I could use the coupons to buy more Child Hunger Ends Here products and enter more codes, give more meals, get more coupons and on and on. Sure seems like win, win, win to me.

For more information on this project and products, visit the ConAgra website, the Walmart website, Peter Pan Peanut Butter, Banquet Frozen Meals, Kid Cuisine,  Healthy Choice Soup, Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers, Healthy Choice Steamers, Chef BoyArdee Ravioli, Marie Callenders Frozen Meals or check out the Child Hunger Ends Here YouTube Channel.

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