If some faces on special Cheerios boxes in local ShopRites look a little familiar, it may be because they belong to employees at three area stores.

ShopRites in Somers Point, Hammonton and Vineland were among 30 stores in New Jersey that helped raise $1.24 million in September for regional community food banks.

Stores in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Conn-ecticut, Delaware and Mary-land participated in a friendly competition to see who could raise the most funds.

Each winning store was allowed to chose two store associates to be featured on a special-edition Cheerios box. The employees, in their red shirts, stand in a heart-shaped formation on the 125,000 customized boxes, which were unveiled at the stores during March.

Each winning store also got additional donations of either $500 or $3,000 from ShopRite for local food pantries.

At the Shop Rite in Somers Point, employees Peter Forc-inito, of Vineland, and George Fabrizio, of Galloway Town-ship, were chosen to appear on the box. The store raised $14,014.

The Landis ShopRite in Vineland raised raised $17,007.

Store employees Claire Braida and Mike Alvarez, of Vineland, were chosen to be on the box.

The ShopRite of Hammon-ton raised $13,225. Employees Lorelei Alden and Catherine Baron, of Ha-mmonton, are featured on the box.

"We're grateful to our ShopRite associates, who care so deeply about the plight of the hungry." said Christine Mag-yarits, spokesperson for ShopRite Partners In Caring. "We are equally grateful to our generous customers, who are so supportive of our efforts to alleviate hunger in local communities served by ShopRite stores."

Contact Diane D'Amico:

609-272-7241