Sadly, Giant Food isn’t feeling very charitable, this year.


The well-known red kettle.

This is unfortunate; ever since I was a little girl, I have associated red kettles and ringing bells with the holiday season. I won’t be hearing or seeing such things at my local Giant:

Ken Forsythe, spokesman for the Salvation Army National Capital Area Command, says that Giant Food of Maryland has reduced the number of hours and days that the group’s bell ringers will be able to be in front of the grocery stores.

The reduction of hours could have a huge impact on the Salvation Army’s ability to raise money, according to Forsythe.

“The Salvation Army has been partners with Giant Food stores for probably several decades or better,” says Forsythe.

He says that an estimated 45 percent of the funds raised during last year’s Red Kettle Drive came from bell ringers in front of Giant stores. [WTOP]

The Salvation Army will only be allowed to collect funds for one week in November and another in December. A spokesperson for Giant said something perfunctory about serving customers and being committed to the community. Apparently, the red kettles “hinder” the shopping experience. That’s a confusing reason to stop a decades-old tradition, though. If Giant were truly interested in the “experience” their stores provide, they’d focus on customer service, cleaner stores and courteous employees…but getting rid of a red kettle is probably easier and faster.

  • -K

    I like the red kettle, but I don’t necessarily like the Salvation Army. While a charity, it is also a christian sect that receives special treatment by grocery and department stores. My frustration is that these same grocery stores are unwilling to give other religious groups or non-profits equal time to raise money.

    While the Salvation Army is part of an American tradition, and that should be honored, I think its important to remember that they’re getting special treatment to begin with. So when a store decides to not allow the salvation army more than a couple weeks, consider that it wouldn’t even give a week to the Hare Krishnas, is that charitable?