By: David Fikes, Vice President, Communications, Community and Consumer Affairs, Food MarketingInstitute

Each of us has had our world shaken a bit by the recent rash of heartbreaking stories and news accounts of unimaginable situations across our nation. These disturbing scenarios contribute to a heighten sense of just how fragile our world is and how quickly our life-circumstances can change.  

To cope with these disturbances, we could all use a little goodwill to help restore a sense of order and balance – and bolster our sagging confidence. We hope that the good news of FMI’s Community Outreach Awards shines a little light into the darkness; illuminating that there is good in our world by highlighting some acts of benevolence and concern.

Through these awards, FMI recognizes the usually unmentioned contributions grocers make to enhance the communities they serve. It’s my pleasure to announce this year’s winners of something we call Grocers Doing Good in their Neighborhoods.

This year, grocers across the country have stepped-up their various acts of generosity with personalized programs and initiatives to impact and benefit their communities.

Here are the “best of the best” in the four categories of the Community Outreach Awards:

-mother-s-may-wellness-series-presented-by-publix_publixarchNeighborhood Health Improvement Category: Mind Body Social LLC: Mother’s May Wellness Series presented by Publix

Launched in 2018, this initiative celebrates and honors mothers in the community throughout the entire month of May, with a series of free wellness activities and tools that provide opportunities to live healthier lives and facilitate improving the balance between work and family, starting with their own self-care.

Smart and Final kfi-am640-caterina-s-club-8th-annual-pastathon_chef-bruno-volunteersYouth Development Category: Smart & Final: KFI AM 640 & Catrina’s Club 8th Annual PastaThon

All 250+ Smart & Final stores participated in the 2018 PastaThon with promotional materials at registers inviting customer to donate $10, which Smart & Final turned into pasta, pasta sauce, forks, bowls and napkins for kids in need. Efforts raised $62,280, including 4,528 $10 donations, $12,000 from canister donations and a $5,000 check donation from the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation.

hy-vee-flood-relief-donations-and-fundraising_img_3572_2Addressing Food Insecurity Category: Hy-Vee, Inc. Flood Relief Donations and Fundraising

Heavy rains throughout March 2019 overwhelmed levees along the Missouri and Platte rivers and resulted in catastrophic flooding for thousands in southwest Iowa and Nebraska. Hy-Vee immediately responded to assist the communities it serves in the affected areas and teamed up with the
Nebraska National Guard and Highway Patrol to send eight semi-trucks filled with bottled water and supplies to Fremont, Nebraska.

People's Pick Category: GIANT Food Stores, LLC: Healthy Weight Food Pharmacy

Children Hospital of Philadelphia’s Healthy Weight Food Pharmacy is designed to help decrease food insecurity in low-income neighborhoods. Families found to be experiencing food insecurity are referred to the onsite Food Pharmacy where they will receive a three-day supply of healthy food and are connected to additional resources to address their needs.

Our thanks to all the nominees for the good you do and our congratulations to those programs selected as recipients of 2019 Community Outreach Awards.