This article was published in the February/March 2013 Wedge newsletter. The following information may be outdated.

Change Matters

Small Change Making a Big Difference

If you could support a worthwhile cause simply by rounding up your grocery bill, wouldn't you? The Change Matters program at The Wedge provides an opportunity to do just that. Our recipients for this monthly fundraising effort are chosen by a committee of Wedge employees from within the nonprofit, co-op, or community-enrichment sectors based on their relevance and need, though we've also collected for emergency-relief organizations following natural disasters, such as flooding and tornadoes, that have affected local areas. Past recipients have included McKinley CSA (community-supported agriculture), the Farm-to-School Network, Midwest Food Connection, Sisters Camelot and several neighborhood food shelves, to name a few.

Our goal each month is to raise a minimum of $500; a goal we've met only a handful of times since the program's inception in 2010. Most collections have resulted in donations of $150 to $300 altogether—not bad, but we think we can do better! Ideally, we would like our totals to meet or exceed $1,000 per month. If that figure seems lofty, consider this:

  • If 5 percent of our shoppers per day (approximately 150 people) donated just 10¢, we would raise $450 in a given month. That's a good start.
  • If 10 percent of our shoppers per day (approximately 300 people) donated 10¢, we would have $900 per month. That's more like it.
  • If that same 10 percent of shoppers donated 25¢ per day, we would raise over $1,100 in a month. Fantastic!

As you can see, your small contributions can really add up. But how do they make a difference?

Change Matters recipients have used the donated money to further their missions in various ways. For example, in May of 2012, we collected $360 for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), which helped them to expand their Farm-to-School Network program, as well as to continue to improve food offerings in our state's schools and raise awareness of local agriculture in school communities. In October, our $550 contribution to the Midwest Food Connection helped make it possible for them to reach beyond their regular clients and teach hands-on lessons about healthful food to elementary students in underserved neighborhoods of Minneapolis. We also gave $730 to McKinley CSA in August, which they used to purchase cargo bikes for shuttling equipment between their pocket-farm sites and hauling the harvest to their headquarters. There is truly no limit to what could be accomplished with even more financial resources.

Information on the current month's recipient is always posted at each register and our Customer Service counter, plus you can find photos and more details about the organization on our Change Matters bulletin board near the restrooms at the front of the store. Next time you're at the check-out and your cashier asks if you would like to "round-up" your total, we hope you'll say yes. If you prefer, you may donate a larger dollar amount at once by asking the cashier to add it to your total. All donations will appear on your itemized receipt and are tax-deductible. With your generous support, we can ensure that valuable organizations like these continue to work and grow in our community.