Charity and Gift Cards: making the difference during the COVID-19 pandemic

We all know how difficult are these days. Our lives have been heavily affected by Covid that has also turned upside down our world. Some people are lucky, safe at home, benefiting from smart working, but others are in trouble as they lost their job or their conditions, already precarious, have got worst.


So what can we do to support them? It’s a moral duty as retailers but, above all, as human beings to find a way to help.

In Italy the majority of grocery retailers launched charity programs based on shop & donate scheme. Clients buy some grocery products and they simply drop in a specific place in the store to be collected and donated to needy families. Locally this scheme worked very well but as the donation grew a new solutions urged to be found.

To solve the matter, in Carrefour we simply decided to use gift cards to redistribute donations. In April 2020 we launched a charity initiative called SpesaSOSpesa.

The initiative was very simple, while paying their purchases the clients can donate 2€ or 5€ to support the charity program. All the funds collected were redistributed through Carrefour Gift Cards with the help of a Charity Organization called Banco Alimentare. In one shot we solved the logistic problems and we gave the families the freedom to choose what they really need.

The initiative was so successful that Banco Alimentare, the main not-for-profit organization in Italy specialized in the collection and free distribution of food, decided to transform their national activity of food collection into a Gift Card program.

Banco Alimentare is always active in food collection activities working with retailers, restaurants, FMCG industries and other stakeholders during the year, but in November they engage actively consumers asking them to donate essentials grocery products to needy families. Each year, their volunteers, in a specific weekend, stand out of the stores to collect food and other goods that people want to donate.

Due to the pandemic was inconceivable to organize such a huge activity, involving so many people in the stores, but the initiative should absolutely be realized, as more and more families this year need help.

So they decided to collect donations through Gift Cards that would be displayed in stores from the 21st of November to the 8th of December. In these days they started the campaign to support the initiative.

In Carrefour we are happy to support them and we hope that this initiative could be replicated in other countries thanks to the partnership between retailers, not-profit-organizations and gift cards providers.


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