FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One grocery chain is making it easier to donate to a good cause in the check out line.
For a $5 donation, you buy a bag of food for a family in need, and then get $5 off your next purchase. At the downtown Fresno Grocery Outlet, the donated food goes to Catholic Charities food pantry.
Ashlee Wolf is the development coordinator at Catholic Charities. They serve an average of 150 people a day.
"So we see clients coming through our door over the summer and we want to make sure we serve everyone who comes through and this food donation is extremely valuable," she said.
For the ninth year, more than 300 stores within the chain have participated in the Independence for Hunger campaign during July.
"It's our biggest event of the year where we give back to the community," said downtown store owner, Paco Alvarez.
Over the past eight years, more than $5 million was raised. The extra food is helpful at Catholic Charities where the demand for food goes up by more than 30 percent during the hot summer months for a variety of reasons.
"Maybe your car broke down and now you have to pay for a car repair, and you don't have money to go to the grocery store, and we also have a lot of kids that are home from school and they are eating so much more frequently than you are used to seeing them at home," Wolf said.
Alvarez said it could be a free way to help, "So they buy a bag and they get $5 off on their next purchase. We put it in this bin, and this bin is already paid for."
The bags are opened and repackaged into bigger bags that go to families.
"Those are staple items in those bags that we distribute here at the food pantry," Wolf said. "So we will coordinate picking up those bags as we come to the end of the month and those will go out to the people we are serving here at Catholic Charities."
The Independence for Hunger campaign runs through the end of July, and if you don't want to buy a bag you can donate a dollar.
Donate $5 at Grocery Outlet to buy groceries for family in need, get $5 off your next purchase