When ShopCore Properties was deciding how to give back to its grocery-anchored communities, it faced one basic question: how and where could its philanthropic efforts be most effective?
“When we started as a company three and a half years ago, we asked ourselves, ‘Do we want to help a lot of charities or focus on one area where we can be helpful?” said Luke Petherbridge, President and CEO. Given the company’s focus on grocery-anchored centers, focusing on feeding the needy was a logical conclusion.
“One in six children don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” Petherbridge said, citing Feeding America statistics. “That affects their performance in school — it’s hard to concentrate on a book report or science project when you’re hungry. The result is that these children have lower math scores, and are more likely to miss class or even repeat a grade, according to studies in educational journals. The repercussions of that can be lifelong. Feeding the hungry is more than an extension of who we are. It’s our mission.”
In partnership with its sister company LivCor, ShopCore Properties launched “CoreGiving: Dollars, Hours, Pounds,” a program that fights hunger one dollar, one hour and one pound at a time. For 2019, the company has donated $1,000 per property to local food banks, encourages employees to donate eight hours of volunteer work, and hopes to collect 475,000 pounds of food. Individual properties also host fundraisers and other events to support local food banks.
TO DATE, THE COMPANY HAS DONATED MORE THAN 1.5 MILLION MEALS TO THOSE IN NEED, WITH A GOAL OF DONATING 5 MILLION MEALS NO LATER THAN 2023.
“That need to give back to its communities is a central tenet of ShopCore as a company,” Petherbridge continued. The result is that the company’s San Diego office was recently awarded one of the “Top Workplaces” by the San Diego Union-Tribune for the second consecutive year. The company also is dedicated to investing in its staff, launching ShopCore University, which provides support and training at all levels of the organization, earlier this year. It’s all part of a piece, as ShopCore serves multiple audiences: its stakeholders, its employees and its communities.
“If you look at our culture, it’s emblematic of the people who are there,” he said. The people we’ve hired care. We take a holistic approach. It just breaks down to who we are as a firm.”