Ever since brothers Ike and Eddie Basha, Sr. opened the first Bashas’ grocery store in 1932, the Basha family has strived to offer outstanding products at affordable prices combined with exceptional customer service.
As Ashley Shick, director of communications for Bashas’ Family of Stores notes, the local grocer is also committed to helping the community in a variety of ways.
“Giving back to the community has been a cornerstone of the company since its inception,” she says. “One of the founding philosophies was that to be successful in business, you must be an active participant in enriching the communities in which you serve.”
One of the most well-known ways Bashas’ Family of Stores does this, Shick says, is through the in-store “Charity of the Month” program.
“Each month we collect donations at our registers for a designated non-profit organization to support the great work that the non-profit does,” she says, adding that the featured charity changes monthly and can also vary per store format, as Bashas’ Family of Stores owns and operates Bashas’, AJ’s Fine Foods and Food City stores across the state.
“The vast majority of our community focus is hyper-local. As an Arizona-founded company, we pride ourselves on being supportive of as many homegrown organizations as we can,” Shick says.
Non-profits are typically selected each fall for the following year, Shick says, and Bashas’ Family of Stores works alongside each organization to plan their fundraising campaign.
“We encourage the non-profit to find engaging ways for our customers and employees, who we call members, to show their support. Our goal with every Charity of the Month is to raise more funds than in previous years.”
Make-A-Wish Arizona is the August Charity of the Month for Bashas’ and Food City stores across the state, Shick says.
“We are inviting our customers to support this Arizona-grown organization through monetary donations at our registers. All funds raised go directly back to Make-A-Wish Arizona to support its mission of making every wish kid’s dream a reality,” she says, adding that from time to time, they will also participate in helping to make a wish kid’s dream come true.
“For example, one Make-A-Wish child wanted to be a police officer, chase bad guys and eat donuts for the day. We jumped at the opportunity to donate food for this memorable event.”
Community events, donations
In addition to the Charity of the Month program, Bashas’ Family of Stores also supports a few walk/run fundraisers throughout the year.
“The JDRF Walk and the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk are organizations that we have supported for a number of years,” Shick says. “We provide on-site giveaways, in collaboration with our vendors, to the thousands of walkers that participate in each of these events.”
Another way that Bashas’ Family of Stores supports the community, Shick says, is through fulfilling donation requests.
“These are things like providing food for a school fundraiser or PTA meeting. We receive thousands of requests every year and help as many groups as we can,” she adds.
Although the funds that are raised vary from year to year, Shick says there is definitely a steady growth in the generosity shown by Bashas’, Food City and AJ’s Fine Foods customers.
“During the nearly 85 years of service to Arizona, Bashas’ Family of Stores has given more than $100 million dollars back to the community it serves. Every year we are able to serve hundreds of schools, churches and nonprofits through all of our give-back programs,” she says.