Sock Drive photo

Sep 17, 2019
Rainier Fruit starts holiday giving for ‘Pears for Pairs’

Rainier Fruit recently announced a second year of its holiday charity program, Pears for Pairs, which buys socks for the homeless.

The campaign launches in stores in September. Rainier will contribute a portion of the proceeds of bulk pear and bag pear sales this holiday season to the tenth annual Hanes National Sock Drive.

Pears for Pairs logo

The 2019 campaign comes “on the ‘heels’ of last year’s success,” the company said in a press release.

During the 2018 holiday season, Rainier, along with the growers at Matson Fruit Company and Blue Star Growers, donated over 20,000 pairs of socks to five charitable organizations across the United States, according to a press release.

“Last year’s ‘Pears for Pairs’ campaign gave us an opportunity to share our #WholesometotheCore values across our entire supply chain,” said Mark Zirkle, CEO of Rainier Fruit. “From our staff that organized events that culminated in the donation of socks and towels to the Union Gospel Mission in Yakima, to the retailers that promoted the ‘Pears for Pairs’ campaign,” he added.

The campaign also helped participating retailers drive high double-digit increases in year over year volume sales of pears.

“Based on our research, pears are an impulse buy, so we found pairing purchases with the opportunity for giving back drove consumer behavior and captured category sales,” said Andy Tudor, vice president of business development, Rainier Fruit.

The Hanes National Sock Drive is part of Hanes for Good, HanesBrands’ corporate social responsibility program, which focuses on environmental stewardship, workplace quality and community building.

The homeless epidemic touches every state and it is reported that there are up to 3.5 million people who will experience homelessness each year in the United States, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. Socks are among the most-needed items by shelters, according to a press release from Rainier.

The Pears for Pairs campaign is open to all retailers and will run from September through December at retail locations nationwide.

Above, Hanes National Sock Drive on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Seattle. Hanes partnered with organizations Invisible People and WeCount to distribute more than 5,500 pairs of socks to people in need throughout the city. Photo: Stephen Brashear/AP Images for Hanes

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