As we kick off our annual Shop For Higher Education  program this month, helping Hawaii’s students achieve their dreams of attending college couldn’t be easier. Stop by our store, select one of the 85 participating schools, and then shop with your Maika’i card. We’ll do the rest. Every time you shop through March 29th, your favorite school will earn points towards scholarships for their seniors. It’s all so simple today, but it wasn’t always this easy!
I can’t help think back to 1988 – the year of Foodland’s 40th anniversary – when we began working with Hawaii’s schools to help them earn much needed computer equipment. We had no Maika’i program back then, so schools would collect register receipts and total up the dollars spent. Customers who could not turn in receipts to their favorite school, would write the school name on the back of the receipt and deposit it in a bin in our stores. The receipts would come into the office and we would meticulously sort through them all, so we could send them to the schools. I remember having receipts spread all over the floor at home and covering the tables in our corporate office board room. The whole process took a lot of time, but we felt that if our customers made the extra effort to support a school, we had to do our part so the school could get credit for their purchases and earn much needed computer equipment.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then! Not only are purchases designated by our customers for a particular school tracked electronically, most schools no longer have a pressing need for computer equipment. And yet, while there are no more receipts to count, the spirit of the original program remains alive – a spirit that stems from our strong desire to help our customers help the schools and students they care about. That’s why all of us at Foodland get excited about Shop For Education  – because it is one important way we are working with all of you to ensure a better Hawaii.