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Community news: Whole Foods raises funds for Ascencia; Sam Adarme and Helen Reid to marry

December 25, 2012|By Joyce Rudolph
  • Loading up donations for Ascencia are volunteer Steven John, from left, Whole Foods cashier Miguel Gonzalez, who has personally raised more than $3,000 from his customers, and volunteer Josh Grayson.
Loading up donations for Ascencia are volunteer Steven… (Photo courtesy…)

The spirit of giving is continuing this week at Whole Foods in Glendale.

Ascencia, a program that helps homeless individuals and families, is benefiting from donations collected by employees of the grocery store chain through its Grab & Give project, said Becky Feliciano, Whole Foods marketing supervisor.

Customers at each register are asked to donate funds or they can purchase breakfast, lunch, dinner or a personal care kit for an individual or family in need. Shoppers can also tell the cashier to round up the bill to the next dollar and that change will be the customer’s donation. The campaign started in early November and continues until Dec. 31. So far it has raised more than $16,000 for Ascencia.

“There is only one store ahead of us,” Feliciano said. “We compete, so Newport Beach is No. 1 and Glendale is No. 2 in the whole overall promotion and donation collection.”

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“It's wonderful,” she said about helping the needy. “I can honestly say that we always try to do something for the less fortunate at this time. I always focus our community outreach to be something where we can help someone who is local and who's needy and it always makes a surprisingly good feeling for me and our team members.”

Some of the cashiers are so motivated they raise $100 a day. Cashier Miguel Gonzalez has raised a total of $3,000, she said.

The store chose Ascencia because they had done the project with them before when it was called Path Achieve, Feliciano said. It is not only local but they work with the homeless to get them back on their feet with counseling, job search and housing resources.

“It is so amazing to have something like this so close to home that is this comprehensive,” she said.

Volunteer Steven John and his wife, Kristin, and friend Josh Grayson have been transporting food donations from the store to Ascencia.

“With the funds donated by shoppers, Whole Foods reached out to their vendors, such as Kashi and Wolfgang Puck, and secured huge amounts of healthy, nutritious, and of course delicious, food, along with dozens of boxes of personal hygiene products, ranging from shampoo to body lotions,” Steven John said.

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