Northwest Indiana is home to steel mills, the Dunes, Lake Michigan and corn.

It’s also home to a staggering statistic: According to United Way Northwest Indiana, over 40% of households in Northwest Indiana can’t afford basic needs such as childcare, housing, food, transportation and health care ( Sadly, some of those households may belong to your neighbors.

From Monday, March 25 through Sunday, March 31, United Way Northwest Indiana will be the beneficiary of Strack & Van Til’s Checkout Challenge Round Up. Customers across the Region can choose to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar when shopping at their local Strack & Van Til store. Those extra funds will be donated to the organization.

United Way Director of Marketing Joe Justak says the Round Up proceeds will help support a key initiative: The Level Up program.

“Level Up helps bridge the gap between full-time workers who struggle to make ends meet and better paying jobs,” Justak explains. “It’s designed to break the cycle of poverty and help individuals achieve financial stability.”

The program provides personalized mentoring including skills development and financial literacy to foster self-sufficiency, empowerment and independence. As a result of Level Up, many past participants have been able to pursue higher education, land well-paying jobs, reduce debt and purchase their own homes.

United Way Northwest Indiana works to create positive, lasting change to help improve residents’ lives in Lake, Porter, Newton, Jasper and Starke Counties.

Justak says the Round Up is a notable example of the community helping the community.

“We are grateful to Strack & Van Til for allowing us to participate in their round up campaigns and to all the incredible customers who choose to stand with us and support our mission, your generosity knows no bounds,” he says. “Together, we’re not just making a difference, we’re shaping a brighter future for all of Northwest Indiana.”

Strack & Van Til continues its more than 94-year tradition of philanthropy by raising funds through the Checkout Challenge Round Up program to help organizations in the communities it serves throughout Northwest Indiana.

President and CEO Jeff Strack credits the success of the Checkout Challenge Round Ups to Strack & Van Til customer generosity and the commitment of Strack & Van Til employees.

“Giving back to the communities we serve is just naturally a part of Strack & Van Til’s culture. We are incredibly grateful to our customers who contribute to these Round Up campaigns and make a difference in the lives of so many people,” Strack says. “Our customers are the best. They are the ones who give back to the community. Our stores, with the help of our employees, simply provide our customers with an outlet to donate to some of their favorite local organizations.”

Show your support for United Way Northwest Indiana by participating in Strack & Van Til’s Checkout Challenge Round Up.

See how United Way Northwest Indiana is addressing urgent community needs and transforming lives. For more information on programs, to volunteer or to donate, visit To learn more about Strack & Van Til’s community involvement, visit