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

FMI Community Outreach AwardsAs cornerstones in their communities throughout America, grocers host food drives, after-school programs, health and well-being initiatives, and other charitable events - all in the spirit of improving their special corner of the world.
The Food Marketing Institute recognizes food retailers as the driving force behind neighborhood support and charitable events through its Community Outreach Awards. These have become one of the most anticipated and fun recognitions at FMI. Traditionally in the fall, food retailers submit their best practice examples of programs designed to educate and mentor youth; impact the overall health or engagement of a community; or bring a meal to those in underserved areas. 
Even though fall brings a change of season, it often feels like we’re performing a delicate balancing act between multiple events, including back to school madness. To help relieve a bit of the high demand for consumer outreach and programming that food retailers find themselves navigating during this time, FMI is moving its Community Outreach Awards program to be celebrated during the summer months. Community programs running from October 1, 2018 – June 1, 2019 will be considered for the 2019 Community Outreach Awards.

Share your submissions with us from June 10 – June 21. 

Be on the lookout for this earlier-than-usual opportunity to tout the good you do in your neighborhood.

To inspire your 2019 nominations, here are a few examples from the 2017 Community Outreach Award Winners:

Albertsons Companies: Eating Healthy With Diabetes

Eating 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.

Hy-Vee: Food and Beverage Distribution in Wake of 2018 Tornadoes

In 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.

Greer's: Apples for the Students

Apples 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. Greer's donated $60,500 towards school supplies/equipment in 2018 alone. 

BriarPatch Food Co-op: Hospitality House Culinary Program

Hospitality 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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