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January 31, 2022 3 minute READ

A Sweet Valentine's Feast: Mast Store's "Be a Sweetheart" Enters 19th Year

tags Inspiration
locations All

For 19 years now, Mast Store has matched each pound of bulk candy purchased during its Be a Sweetheart event with a $1 donation to our food security partners. A dollar purchases 3, 5, 7, even 10 hearty meals for someone experiencing food insecurity. This Valentine's Day, show your love on many levels - to your sweetheart and to the local community. 

What would Valentine’s Day be if we didn’t swap sweets with our sweethearts? Candy, specifically chocolate, having a romantic connection to Valentine’s Day is a relatively recent occurrence. A tradition dating much further back, however, recognizes the modern holiday we call Valentine’s Day as the Feast of Saint Valentine in remembrance of three Valentines all said to have died on February 14. Each in his own way was martyred for spreading God’s kingdom of love and example in their communities.

Love and romance, as we know them today, weren’t associated with Valentine’s Day until the 14th century when the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote of birds that come together to find their mates on St. Valentine’s Day. It’s around this same period of time in the Late Middle Ages – an era that saw courtly love come into high fashion – that the first use of “sweet” as a term of endearment enters the English language. The word “heart,” a symbol of emotion, would soon join that pet name, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Be a Sweetheart - February 12 & 13, 2022The Mast Store has, in a sense, combined the Valentine traditions of sweets and feasts for 19 years now.

The Be a Sweetheart campaign provides food security partners throughout Mast General Store’s region with $1 for every pound of bulk candy purchased the weekend before Valentine’s Day, February 12 – 13. With each dollar, these food security agencies can purchase as many as 10 meals for the individuals and families they serve.

The following is a list of our partnering food security agencies and the Mast Store locations that are supporting them for 2022’s Be a Sweetheart campaign: Hunger and Health Coalition (Boone and Valle Crucis stores); MANNA FoodBank (Waynesville, Hendersonville, and Asheville stores); Loaves & Fishes (Greenville); Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee (Knoxville); Harvest Hope (Columbia); Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina (Winston-Salem); and Feeding Southwest Virginia (Roanoke).

In addition to providing meals, our food bank partners help their clients learn how to be smart shoppers and put together healthy menus on a budget. Some even offer clients a hand-up with opportunities to find work in the foodservice industry.

At such an important time of year to make sure everyone has warm meals on their tables, you can also help our partners meet their clients’ food needs by rounding your purchases up to the next dollar at all Mast Store locations from February 7 until Valentine's Day, February 14.

These donations of pocket change add up to help each agency achieve its goals of feeding our neighbors and making our communities safer and happier places for all.

Whether you’re rounding up your transaction or purchasing a pound of candy, nothing is sweeter than contributing to your neighbors’ wellbeing, and we hope that the Mast Store’s Be a Sweetheart event fills both your table and your heart on this Feast of Saint Valentine!

Check out last year's blog for more information about chocolate and Valentine's Day

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