SPAR Hungary supports several organisations and causes relating to healthcare, social benefit, education, culture, sport, and animal welfare every year. They also support Hungarian small businesses by putting their products on the shelves of SPAR stores.
The company organises and sponsors charitable initiatives throughout the whole year. Márk Maczelka, head of communications at SPAR Hungary explained: “Our company spent more than 224 million forints on supporting worthy causes last year. We are proud of all our initiatives and our customers as well who always take these opportunities and support our charity campaigns.” The retail chain has been working together closely with the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta for 26 years. Their shared mindsets, ideas, and initiatives resulted in several returning charity campaigns, and thanks to new initiatives, the list of beneficiaries continuously grows. The charity organisation received almost 47.4 million forints worth of financial support and donations with the help of SPAR Hungary and their customers in 2022. Donation cards purchased by customers made up 24.7 million forints of this total. As a result of the joint charity collection campaigns, they distributed 143 tonnes of food and more than 58 000 items of school supplies to those in need.
Twelve tonnes of dry pet food for animals in need
SPAR Hungary and the Országos Állatvédőrség Alapítvány (National Animal Rights Foundation) arranged a two-day national pet food donation campaign called “Mancs a bajban!” (Paw in trouble!) in May 2022 for the second year. The activists of the animal protection organisation collected more than 10 000 kg of dry food for dogs, 3500 cans, more than 1700 kg of dry food for cats, 2700 cans, 4400 pouches and 1400 kg of cat litter at selected INTERSPAR stores. The company involved customers with the “Paw in trouble!” pet food donation campaign to help four-legged friends in trouble, whilst trying to raise awareness for the importance of responsible pet ownership and animal protection, as well as providing people with a deeper insight to the invaluable work of NGOs. On top of this SPAR Hungary has been supporting the work of local animal shelters, zoos, and wildlife parks for more than ten years by donating their surplus and not for sale animal products to them.
SPAR employees’ children enjoyed happy camping adventures
As one of Hungary’s biggest employers, SPAR Hungary gives their employees’ children the opportunity to go summer camping. Every single year over the last decade – except for 2020 because of the pandemic – SPAR has arranged camping for employees’ children, spending more than 200 million forints since 2013 to support the joyful holidays of 4000 kids in different camps, all of which are a minimum 5-days long. As well as being a great adventure for these children, the camping opportunity means a great deal of help in planning the summer holiday period for the employees of the SPAR Group.
School supplies for disadvantaged children
With the ‘Joy to Give!’ (Adni Öröm!) school supply donation campaign during summer, customers get a chance to support disadvantaged children at the start of the school year by purchasing donation cards at INTERSPAR stores as well as buying notebooks, stationary items, pencil cases, school bags, PE bags, and other useful supplies and hand them over to the volunteers of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta in the stores. The charity organisation distributes the donated supplies, and the equipment they purchased with the money raised at the beginning of September to the families in need. The initiative was launched by SPAR in 2021 in partnership with the charity organisation and became a tradition returning in 2022. Customers donated more than 58 000 items of school supplies and more than 2 million forints worth of donation cards to support the campaign this year. SPAR Hungary topped up the donations with an additional one million forints. The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta helped about 1,500 children to have new school supplies, PE accessories, and other necessary school equipment with the support of SPAR’s customers in 2022.
Equal Opportunities Run and donation campaign at the SPAR Budapest Maraton® Festival
Last year in October there were thousands of participants from 800 Hungarian locations and 83 different countries at the 37th Spar Budapest Maraton® Festival. A special feature of the event was the 10th FODISZ Equal Opportunities Run. This event invited people living with disabilities, reduced mobility and young people who want to express their solidarity with them to run a symbolic 500m race. The aim of the programme is to give children living with disabilities, who don’t necessarily do such activities on a daily basis, the chance to experience the joy and excitement of the competition. During the 2-day program aimed at promoting sports, there are also several charity campaigns organised.
Joy to Give! returns before the Christmas holidays
The joint charity campaign between the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta and SPAR, ‘Joy to Give!’ Christmas charity campaign helped disadvantaged people in need to be able to share the joy of Christmas for the 26th consecutive year. The volunteers of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta were present in the selected SPAR and INTERSPAR stores before Christmas to collect non-perishable food donations. Continuing the tradition, donation cards were available for purchase from the 1st of December in stores and the SPAR online shop. During the festive season many people want to show their solidarity and empathy; according to a survey conducted at the request of SPAR Hungary, 43% of the respondents said that they can almost see the faces of those they are helping when they donate, and most people prefer to do more personal donations. To help SPAR’s customers to express these feelings, the store chain provided the option to send messages on big greeting cards or online to the people receiving their donations which made the whole experience even more personal. ‘Joy to Give!’, the joint campaign between the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta and SPAR Hungary, contributed to the creation of gift bags made from 143 tonnes worth of food donations in 2022. This amount helped making the Christmas period brighter and merrier for 19 500 families. The customers of SPAR’s online shop raised more than 7.3 million forints in donations to contribute to the campaign and help build these gift bags.
The cost of 200 000 aluminium cans donated to children’s holiday camps
SPAR Hungary customers help significantly reduce environmental pressure and simultaneously support the holidays of children in need if they return used aluminium cans to the purpose-built machines. The process is very simple; when customers return their used aluminium cans to the selected collection machines by SPAR and INTERSPAR stores they need to press the donation button at the end to be able to donate the value of the returned cans to charity. Thanks to the initiative there were 200 000 cans collected in 2022, which is equal to more than three tonnes of recyclable aluminium. The amount that was raised is close to one million forints and will be used by the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta to fund the holidaying of disadvantaged children.
More and more Hungarian products for shoppers
SPAR Hungary is committed to supporting Hungarian farmers, family enterprises, domestic agriculture and processing industry – promoting Hungarian producers, products and innovations is a cornerstone of its business philosophy. They are supported by the Hungaricool product competition, which started in 2019, for exciting high-quality products made in Hungary, which are newly developed or, if they already exist, are not yet widely available in retail chains. For customers this provides the opportunity to have access to more and more good quality, locally sourced products every year. The Hungaricool product competition was organised for the fourth time in 2022, and as well as SPAR, the original creator, K&H Bank played an even more active role last year. They offered personal financial advice and financial support for the winners who were also supported with marketing aid and training courses by the SPAR Supplier Academy. The main goal of this is to equip Hungarian small businesses with the knowledge on how to build a brand which promotes further product developments and customers can benefit from this as well. Following the past three Hungaricool rounds so far, 26 winning suppliers are present on the shelves of the retail chain with a total of more than a hundred products. SPAR also supports local small-scale producers with their Regional Treasures program which provides them with a spot on their shelves. When customers buy products with the red apple logo on them, they support the small-scale producers of the different Hungarian regions.
SPAR Helping Hands Programme
SPAR Hungary is happy to support organisations that promote causes of significant social importance and their action campaigns whenever they can. Therefore, the store chain launched a tender system years ago which provides a transparent way and equal opportunity to support different initiatives. In 2022 there were 80 NGOs who received financial support worth of 8.5 million forints through the SPAR Helping Hands tender.
SPAR Hungary’s sustainability initiatives are updated and available using the following link: www.sparafenntarthatojovoert.hu