With a Good Heart – SPAR Hungary donated more than 230 million HUF to charities in 2021

SPAR Hungary is committed to supporting organisations and causes related to health, social issues, education, culture, and sports. In 2021 they spent more than 230 million forints on goals related to social responsibility.

School equipment donation campaign with the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service

The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta has been a strategic partner of the store chain for three decades. One of the most important of their joint campaigns is the ‘Joy to Give!’ (Adni Öröm!) Christmas food collection charity campaign. The charity organisation and SPAR organised the first ‘Joy to Give!’ school equipment collection campaign between 21 July and 5 August last year. The volunteers of the Order went to 33 INTERSPAR stores across the country between 25-28 August to collect donations to the campaign in person. Customers bought more than 57 000 school equipment items to donate to children in need and raised 2.2 million forints with donation cards to support them for the start of the new school semester. SPAR Hungary donated a further one million forints to the money raised. Financial donations were spent on school supplies, which were then delivered to families in need, to ease the hardship of the beginning of the new school semester for 1500 students.

25 years of ‘Joy to Give!’

Thanks to the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta and SPAR Hungary’s 25th anniversary ‘Joy to Give!’ Christmas food collection campaign, 188 tonnes of food products were sorted into gift bags to be delivered to families before Christmas in 2021. Approximately 26,000 gift bags were delivered as part of the campaign, which kicked off on the 1st of December across 137 stores. Donation cards were also available for purchase which meant another 12 million forints were raised, and tens of thousands of shoppers brought donations into the stores to hand over to the volunteers between 16-21 December. Over the last 25 years the ‘Joy to Give!’ campaign has become an important part of the advent period for many Hungarian families and made Christmas brighter for all of us.

Make dreams come true

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This quote inspired the Charity Service of the Order of Malta to launch its social enterprise project called Máltai Manufaktúra. The unique initiative was brought to the market and promoted by SPAR Hungary. The town of Tiszabura located in Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County is one of the poorest places in Hungary. It’s been six years since the so called ‘Presence’ programme was launched here to help Tiszabura advance, by building a joinery and a sewing factory where they started making their own products such as canvas shopping bags for SPAR’s nationwide network in 2018.  They also make jams, chutneys, syrups, pickles, and teas in the Order’s factories in Páty and Gyulaj. Many families in need can earn a living as a result, and a documentary called ‘Presence’ (Jelenlét) was filmed and produced by the company to tell their story. The people behind the programme have emphasised that doing good wasn’t their only purpose; they also wanted to create a competitive and independent business. It makes them proud to have people with troubled backgrounds who have been left behind in the job market learning new professions and making products that are available for everyone on the shelves of SPAR and INTERSPAR stores.

A Long Way: disabled workers employed in the SPAR network

SPAR Hungary has been awarded the Disability Friendly Workplace award four times and have also received a special award for their Inclusive Workplace programme, which was launched in partnership with Janka Tanya in Tótvázsony. This community supports disabled adult workers. The colleagues at INTERSPAR in Veszprém spend 2-3 days per week with these young people who do shelf-stacking and warehousing. The products they handmake are available for purchase at the annual Christmas and Easter fairs at the company’s headquarters. The everyday lives and working experiences of these young disabled people from this small town in Veszprém county inspired the makers of the documentary ‘A Long Way’ (Hosszú út) which was also broadcast on ATV television channel in February 2021

The group provides space for Szerencsejáték Zrt. in almost a hundred supermarkets and hypermarkets where they employ disabled workers who sell lottery tickets. The company currently employs 119 people with disabilities and ten young colleagues with autism. Their integration is guided by an Equal Opportunities Officer.

Feed the Doctor! – a thousand sandwiches a week for the heroes of the pandemic

SPAR Hungary joined the initiative of the Etesd Nonprofit Közhasznú Ltd. to support frontline workers during the pandemic in 2020. During the ‘Feed the Doctor!’ campaign which began at the end of March 2021, the store chain has supplied frontline workers with a thousand sandwiches per week made in the SPAR enjoy. convenience factory in Üllő. It was important for them to support the work of the frontline staff such as doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, and professional organisations during the global pandemic.

Caring for four-legged friends

SPAR Hungary has been supporting the work of animal shelters, wildlife parks, and animal foundations for over ten years. Since the launch of the programme, the store chain has primarily donated excess items, products no longer fit for sale, or those withdrawn from the market. In addition, the National Animal Protection Foundation regularly arranges animal food collection in SPAR stores.

The ‘Mancs a bajban!’ (Paw in trouble!) campaign was first organised in May 2021 across INTERSPAR stores raised more than 14 tonnes of dog food, 2 tonnes of dry cat food, and more than ten thousand cans and treat packages from customer donations. They had volunteers from 34 animal protection organisations accepting the donations on site. Following the success of the initiative, the store chain will make the nationwide charity campaign a regular occurrence and add even more locations to the list. In addition, SPAR Hungary donated a million forints in 2021 towards the work of the National Animal Protection Organisation to provide help to as many rescue animals as possible.

SPAR Budapest Maraton® Festival

Despite the pandemic, more than 13 300 runners participated in the SPAR Budapest Marathon in 2021 and this time there were almost 1100 foreigners from 74 different countries who also competed. Four-fifth of the runners entered to complete the marathon distance.  The running festival – sponsored by SPAR since 2008 – is one of Hungary’s biggest outdoors sport events. As a company that’s committed to a healthy lifestyle, SPAR Hungary also had its Regnum Lifestyle food stall at the festival and donated all of its proceeds to the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service.

10th Rosalia – Rosé and sparkling wines in the Park

More than 90% of the food and beverages products in SPAR Hungary’s stores are made in Hungary, with 100% of their wine range produced nationally. Therefore, the company was delighted to sponsor the Rosalia Festival. Organised for the 10th time in 2021, the Rosalia Festival showcases the rosés and sparkling wines of more than sixty wineries. To celebrate SPAR’s 30th and the Rosalia Festival’s 10th anniversary, the company partnered with Hungarian Vine-growing and Viniculture Nonprofit Ltd. (Borkult) to call for contenders to find the favourite rosé of last summer. The winner – the outstanding rosé of the Paulus Molnár Winery from Mór – was voted for by wine experts, festivalgoers, customers, and employees at SPAR and Borkult. There were more than fifty contenders and customers were able to test the winner both at SPAR’s festival stall and buy it in SPAR and INTERSPAR stores.

Budapest Wine Festival turns 30

The Budapest Wine Festival was first organised around the time SPAR Hungary was established in 1991, and since then has become a popular and prestigious cultural event of the harvest season attracting tens of thousands of visitors. SPAR Hungary was the main sponsor of the joint 30th birthday celebration in 2021 and offered high quality wines prepared for the occasion at their stall. The wine festival isn’t only an event to promote gastronomy, Hungarian wines, and sophisticated wine consumption; it also benefits social causes. The money raised at the Charity Wine Auction – close to 13 million forints bid on 39 items – is donated towards the purchase of new ambulances for the Maltese Ambulance Service.

Hungaricool by SPAR extended

‘Hungaricool by SPAR’ was launched two years ago as a unique initiative which aims to support Hungarian product innovation, prioritise sustainability, and provide customers of INTERSPAR stores and the SPAR Online shop with original flavours and inventive food products.

The company partnered with RTL Klub’s ‘Cápák között’ business start-up tv show where Hungarian investors and business leaders with international reputations assess the creative ideas. There were seven winners announced in 2021 and these brands now produce more than 30 products in INTERSPAR’s range. Furthermore, in the spirit of social responsibility, the company provides these brands with ongoing business mentoring and marketing support.

Regional Treasures: new supply system to benefit regional producers

Many family and small businesses with outstanding food and craft products have difficulties finding their ways to customers. SPAR Hungary’s ‘Regional Treasures’ programme provides direct support for small scale agricultural producers, which enables them to provide customers with healthy, good-quality Hungarian products. The company is committed to supporting small scale producers and their products, by marking them with the red apple logo. This clearly signals to shoppers that if they buy these products, they don’t only get good-quality items, but also directly support Hungarian small-scale producers and help create more jobs. SPAR will be creating six regional centres in the countryside in Nyíregyháza, Pécs, Győr, Székesfehérvár, Zalaegerszeg, and Hódmezővásárhely by the end of 2022. These centres will serve as a logistic base to distribute products with the red apple logo to the supermarkets in their region. They will focus on doing it in the most environmentally friendly way possible by keeping transport, petrol, and others costs to the minimum. The 1.7 billion HUF ‘Regional Treasures’ initiative further develops the sales potential of Hungarian small-scale producers. According to their plans, this new regional collaboration project will create 23 new jobs at SPAR by the end of 2022 and aims to also create more jobs with the suppliers.

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