Bill Borens, manager at the Safeway in Delta, spent his holiday season giving back to the community through the Giving Tree program and patron donations.
Safeway was able to donate “more than 80 complete turkey dinners, including frozen turkey breasts, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and dinner rolls” to Families Plus during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Borens delivered the goods himself, and the Families Plus Parent Partners helped make sure families in the community received them.
“Families center celebration around food. Having community partners that make sure all families can join together over a meal makes our whole community stronger,” said Families Plus Director Brenda Holland in a press release.
Borens has been employed at Safeway for five years and has been the manager for about six months. He said he hopes to make the business a bigger part of the community, and started his efforts with a local events board to help people connect.
“We’re just trying to be a supporter of the community by helping out whenever we can, whether it's some of our associates helping out with fundraisers or the store itself helping out,” Borens said.
Five days a week, food banks, churches and other organizations collect food from the store in a “fresh rescue” — food that is close to the end of its shelf life, but is still good. In 2019, Safeway donated 37,841 meals through its programs, and many families benefited from food donations during the holiday season.
“It’s Borens himself who comes into the store on Thanksgiving to cook up special holiday dinners. These dinners are for Delta Police Department and Sheriff’s Department, Delta and Cedaredge EMTs, and Fire Department personnel who find themselves working that holiday, keeping people safe,” stated Families Plus in a press release. “He laughs and says next year he’s going to ask for some volunteer help, as it was a very big job getting all the food ready and served.”
The business hopes to keep giving back this year, including continuing their partnership with Families Plus. Borens said he also hopes to get more involved with the local schools by setting up pizza parties and ice cream socials. In addition, a customer appreciation event is planned for this summer, where Borens plans to give out hot dogs and sodas. Any donations at that event will go toward giving out meals during the holiday season.
Borens said that while the company helps with giving back to the community, it’s ultimately the patrons of Safeway and Delta County residents that allow the business to help.
“I just want to give a big thanks to the community in general. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to do those donations… It’s nice to give back to the people that come in and shop, and see the faces we’re helping out,” Borens said. “It’s mostly the customers that are the ones who are giving back to their community here.”