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April 14, 2012


Soliciting Grocery Shoppers for Donations

by Anne Paddock

Over the past week, I’ve been asked 11 times by retail clerks if I want to donate money to a charitable cause. This question has been asked by cashiers in grocery stores and in a variety of retail establishments. Yesterday, I decided to use the self check-out at a Stop & Shop grocery store in Connecticut and was approached by three separate sales clerks asking if I wanted to donate money. After I finished bagging my groceries, I went to the manager’s desk and politely told her that most people want to grocery shop in peace, that the grocery store is one place where the expectation is to be a customer, not a source of donations. 

We’re solicited at work (by United Way), at schools we attended and at schools our children attend, at charitable events, churches, temples, museums, performing arts centers, sporting events, home (by phone), in the mail and by e-mail, on the radio, in magazines, and by our friends, relatives, and now by grocery stores and retail stores. Is there no place we can go without someone asking for money?

Sales clerks can’t be blamed as they are being told to solicit customers. The order comes from management, more than likely at the corporate level. When I was in a men’s clothing store buying my husband some shirts, I was asked if I wanted to contribute to St. Jude’s Hospital.  When I went to the Performing Arts Center, the performers went up and down the aisles asking for funds to finance retirement homes for entertainers. And, when I was in a Publix grocery store in Florida, I was asked to purchase bunny bucks whose proceeds go to various charities.  At a Safeway in California earlier this week, I was also solicited and in Whole Foods in West Hartford, Connecticut the cashier also asked me if I wanted to make a donation. Enough already.

There is no dispute that the charitable causes are worthy recipients of our attention and money but there is a time and a place for fundraising and it’s not in the grocery store or other retail establishments but these stores won’t stop soliciting you unless you speak up.  Let management know you don’t want to be asked for money when you’re doing your shopping. Or click on one of the links below and let the corporate office know what you think about being solicited for money while grocery shopping.

Stop & Shop



Price Chopper







A & P

Shop Rite




Whole Foods

Fresh Market


  1. John L. Baggett
    Nov 15 2015

    Please add GNC. They charged my credit card $1 after I emphatically said I did not wish to donate to St Jude’s.

  2. Debbie
    Feb 23 2013

    There are several Dollar General’s in our area…the local store in Lanett, Alabama that I shop in will not stop asking for our change…it would be a waste of time calling the local store…complaints seem to go in one ear and out the other…no one seems to care anymore…This type of solicitation for our money should be banned…If you want to start a web petition for signatures…let me know…I’ll sign it….Maybe it is time that Congress heard our voice about these type of matters that affect our rights as citizens…The Corporate Number for Dollar General is 615-855-4000 Dollar General Corporation 100 Mission Ridge Goodlettsville, TN 37072

  3. Feb 23 2013

    Thanks for your comment and I will add Dollar General with a phone number. The only way stores will stop participating in these high pressure antics is for consumers to speak out. E-mail, write, or call the companies if you can because you’re right…it’s a choice and a personal choice.

  4. Debbie
    Feb 22 2013

    I forgot to add to my comment above that the clerks are VERBALLY asking for my change from the purchase that I just made to put in the jar themselves for the cause…It is so humiliating to be put on the spot like that at the cash register…then for the rest of my previous comment…I feel that the jar or bottle would be sufficient enough for anyone to make a charitable donation on their own free choice without the clerk VERBALLY asking for your money…This has happened on numerous times to me and to others…

  5. Debbie
    Feb 22 2013

    Please add Dollar General of Lanett, Alabama to your list…I feel the clerks are violating my rights as a citizen…I feel that donations should be a choice…not to be pressured and to feel insulted if you do not give…I do not care if they put a jar or bottle with a paper attached to it that indicates that they are raising money for such and such and would like you to donate your change for that cause…This type of practice would then be a choice and not a violation of my rights…

  6. Jun 12 2012

    Thanks for your comment and recommendation and I will be sure to add Walmart to the list. I couldn’t agree more with your comments!

  7. Diddly
    Jun 11 2012

    Could you please add Wal-Mart’s link? They are now ringing cow bells if you donate. Pulbix also is ringing bells if you donate and all the cashiers yell out ‘woot’. I agree…enough already! They use this pressure for us to give yet they get the write-off. Giving is a good thing, but some customers may already give elsewhere and shouldn’t feel pressured to give at retailers. Stop soliciting.

  8. the pedal club
    May 15 2012

    I’ve been getting bugged a lot lately. Recently I think I may have just said “Grrrrrrr”

  9. Kathy
    Apr 14 2012

    I agree.

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