January 09, 2015
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Winn-Dixie representatives, including district director Anthony (middle) and Store Director Rick Welch (second from right) presented Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee with a $15,000 grant at the store’s open house. ​
When Winn-Dixie No. 656 in Bradenton, Florida unveiled its newly-remodeled look on the day of its open house, it welcomed customers, contributed to local charities and boosted the community’s job growth.
The store teamed up with the Food Bank of Manatee (County) and its parent company, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee for the open house event. According to data, nearly 25 percent of Manatee County’s families have reported an inability to provide enough food for their children. During the open house, Winn-Dixie customers donated more than 2,380 pounds of food.

“The partnership with Winn-Dixie helped increase exposure of our efforts and allowed us to share our message with people who may not be aware of the hunger issue in Manatee County,” said Cindy Sloan, Food Bank of Manatee director. “We are grateful to Winn-Dixie and those who came out to the open house for their generous food donations. In all, we were able to provide more than 1,830 meals to the Manatee community through the food drive.”
Before the open house, the Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation and Winn-Dixie presented Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee with a $15,000 grant. The monies will go towards stocking up on necessary foods to serve 40,000 to 50,000 individuals each month, as well as purchasing products to fill emergency baby baskets for parents of children younger than 2 years old.
In addition to the food drive and grant presentation, the Bradenton Winn-Dixie’s job growth helped fuel the local job market.
“We added 45 new employees to our existing 50 employees to help in the store’s expanded and upgraded departments,” said Rick Welch, Winn-Dixie No. 656 director. “We place a large priority on giving back to our community – whether that be through donations to local charities or hiring people within our city.”
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Winn-Dixie No. 656 collected more than 2,380 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Manatee during its open house event.

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