By: Rick Tibbetts, Communications Specialist, FMI

CubTears were shed, patience was spent and tempers flared. Members of Minneapolis’ Black community had seen enough. The death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, summoned hundreds of thousands to the streets for a protest that would eventually inspire a racial reckoning around the world. These protests saw a wave of mostly peaceful activists demand justice for the murder of yet another innocent, unarmed Black man in America, while echoing the powerful refrain, “Black Lives Matter.”

In the aftermath, some Minneapolis businesses resembled the shattered hearts of countless residents throughout the city. Cub Foods in Minneapolis’ Northside was one such business. The grocery store, which is critical to an area of the city deemed a food desert, took on significant damage during the protests and needed to rebuild. However, Cub Foods went beyond a typical reconstruction, opting to create a dedicated space for its community members to heal, grow and thrive.

When Northside Cub reopened in April 2021, it also inaugurated the Northside Community Center @CUB, which developed from collaboration with local community and civic leaders. The objective of the Northside Community Center @CUB is simple: Be what the community needs and enable Cub vendors, sports partnerships and charities to give back to the people they seek to uplift. Some days it is used for meetings, others for tutoring and mentoring.

For example, Cub partnered with A Mother’s Love Initiative, a non-profit whose goal is to use life transformations to help families in need. The nonprofit utilizes the community center for its Tutor House Program during the summer months to develop and assist in life long-learning for mothers and their children. It also uses the space for classes and graduation celebrations.

In addition, Northside Community Center @CUB hosts We Push for Peace, an organization that advocates for those on the Northside. It specializes in de-escalation security methods, mental health assessments, employment assistance, victims of violence support groups and holds weekly meetings in the space to train, inform and educate its team of professionals.

Overall, the center is a free, accessible resource to help meet the community’s needs, whether for local, school, non-profit or community organization purposes. It even served as a COVID-19 and flu vaccination site for local residents. "It's just the right thing to do. It really is the community taking care of the community,” said Cub CEO Mike Stigers.

Cub Foods’ humanitarian response to the civil unrest that rocked Minneapolis and shuttered its Northside store is a stellar example of a food retailer going the extra mile to enrich the future of the people it serves. That’s why Cub Foods was chosen as the winner of FMI’s 2021 Community Uplift Awards in the category of Youth Development Programs. Read more about the company’s big-hearted efforts to rejuvenate Minneapolis’ Northside. Also, check out the full list of Community Uplift Awards nominees and their outstanding programs.