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|Sea Research Foundation and ShopRite Partner to Benefit Aquarium's Animals and the Environment|
MYSTIC, Conn. (March 24, 2009) – Thanks to ShopRite in New London, the fish and invertebrates at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration are enjoying a diverse diet of fruit and vegetables at a significantly lower cost than last year. These savings are a result of a unique partnership recently formed between the aquarium and ShopRite that benefits both parties, as well as the animals and environment.
Each week, aquarium staff receive 50 to 75 pounds of “culled” produce from ShopRite for its resident fish and invertebrates, who live on a diet consisting primarily of fruits and vegetables. The culled produce has begun to change color or is bruised but is still consumable and has nutritional value. The donated produce, which is unappealing to consumers, will save the aquarium approximately $16,000 each year. In turn, the store reduces its waste stream and saves money in dumpster transportation fees. “Sea Research Foundation is extremely grateful for ShopRite’s generous donation of food,” said Peter Glankoff, senior vice president of marketing and public affairs at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, divisions of Sea Research Foundation. “This partnership is a prime example of what can be accomplished when community members with a common interest come together.”
The partnership began when Don Harrington, interim director of fish and invertebrates at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, decided to explore lower-cost options for the animals’ food. He recalled his teen years working at a fruit stand, when he watched many pounds of produce get thrown out once it was beyond its prime.Wondering if there was an alternate option to get the food, he went to Glankoff to discuss ideas. Glankoff called Steve Perrelli, general manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southeastern New England, Inc. and a member of the aquarium’s Board of Trustees. For the past few years, Perrelli has worked extensively with the aquarium to create and execute strategic co-operative marketing programs with local grocery stores. Perrelli put the aquarium in touch with Ken Capano, Jr., vice president of the New London and Norwich ShopRite stores.
“ShopRite is an excellent business partner with Coca-Cola, and we felt this would be a natural relationship to develop with the aquarium,” said Perrelli. “ShopRite is also a great fit because it is a family business with an established history of helping the community.”
“We were happy to help,” said Ken Capano, Jr., vice president of the New London and Norwich ShopRite stores. “Supporting local organizations and businesses – especially those like the aquarium, who give so much back to the community – is always a priority for ShopRite.”
ShopRite also regularly donates food to local shelters and food pantries.About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Presents are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a private, non-profit, charitable organization incorporated in the State of Connecticut. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.
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