By: David Fikes, Vice President, Community/Consumer Affairs and Communications, Food Marketing Institute 

2018 COA WinnersCommunity service is such an expected part of the food retailer profile. It is easy to take their neighbor commitment for granted, but each year, the Food Marketing Institute seeks to recognize the oft-overlooked, but numerous unmentioned contributions and gestures of goodwill that grocers make to enhance the communities they serve.

Food retailers do much more than simply feed families through the food they sell to their customers. Retailers large and small-urban, suburban or rural enrich the lives of their shoppers through thoughtful community programs that often are iconic expressions of the spirit of that particular neighborhood.

This year, grocers across the country stepped-up their various acts of generosity with personalized programs and initiatives to truly impact and benefit the communities they serve each day. Here are the 2018 Community Outreach Award Winners: 

Youth Development Program Award Winner

Apples for the Students

apples-for-the-students-_greersApples for the Students provides educational supplies (from pencils to printers) to schools at no cost to them. Since its inception by Greer’s, 52 schools that have received free educational equipment because of Greer's. Greer's donated $60,500 towards school supplies/equipment in 2018 alone. 

Neighborhood Health Improvement Award Winner

Eating Healthy With Diabetes
Albertsons Companies

eating-healthy-with-diabetesEating Healthy With Diabetes is a grocery store tour offered at no cost and led by a locally registered dietitian and an in-store pharmacist. The program is on-track to conduct over 300 tours, with an average tour size of 8-10 individuals. Many Albertsons dietitians partnered with government programs and community groups on the tours.

Program Addressing Hunger Winner

Hy-Vee Food and Beverage Distribution in Wake of 2018 Tornadoes
Hy-Vee, Inc.

hy-vee-food-and-beverage-distribution-in-wake-of-2018-tornadoesIn response to major tornado damage across several Iowa communities on July 19, 2018, Hy-Vee donated meals, snacks and beverages to impacted residents and emergency workers. From Hy-Vee’s efforts, more than 20,000 individuals benefitted from food assistance and Hy-Vee distributed 111,000 bottles of water across various communities. The total value of donations provided by Hy-Vee equated to approximately $200,000.

“People’s Pick” Social Media Award Winner

Hospitality House Culinary Program
BriarPatch Food Co-op

hospitality-house-culinary-programHospitality House is a community effort to help homeless Nevada County residents get back on their feet. BriarPatch Food Co-Op offered to fund their culinary job-training dinners by providing farm-fresh ingredients for meals that culinary students create for shelter guests. Students make dinner for the 54 men, women and children staying at the shelter, and they learn to consider costs while planning a balanced, nutritious meal.

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