By Kelli Windsor, Senior Director, Digital Communications, FMI

2023 CUA illustration

My daughter is in her first summer camp and it’s been going pretty well. Then I came home to a letter on the kitchen counter, and I immediately thought what most parents would think—Oh no! What now? The hand-written letter was from a camp counselor who shared how much she has enjoyed spending time with my daughter and how well-behaved and friendly she is. She ended the note by saying, “Your daughter helps make the world a better place.”

I share this, not to brag about my parenting skills—I can tell you about the time my daughter threw a very loud public tantrum over a balloon another day—but because it is clear people want the world to be a better place. Food retailers and suppliers know this—our businesses are built on the noble task of keeping America and the world fed—and that is why the food industry invests in uplifting local communities.

According to The Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2023, 82% of food retailers emphasize community support or community ties. What’s more 62% of food retailers surveyed report these community uplift programs are successful at connecting with customers. From independent operators to suppliers, it’s clear the food industry is dedicated to serving local communities with programs that go beyond just selling groceries.  

That’s why FMI annually hosts the Community Uplift Awards, a program designed to spotlight the creative ways the food industry engages, nourishes and uplifts the communities it serves. This year we’re doing things a bit differently.

First, we have a new category for Social Impact Programs. We’re looking for food retailers and suppliers to share their programs focused on diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI), supplier diversity, food waste reduction, responsible sourcing, package waste reduction, animal welfare, water use, or carbon emissions reduction. In addition, nominations can be submitted for Programs Addressing Food Insecurity and Neighborhood Health Improvement Programs.

Second, we are pleased to welcome The Shelby Report as a strategic partner for the FMI Community Uplift Awards. In addition to advising the awards process and serving on a panel of judges organized by the publication, The Shelby Report will help amplify the stories of the FMI Community Uplift Awards 2023 recipients. 

Nominations are open until July 21 at 5:00 pm ET so submit your programs for consideration now. First place recipients in each category receive a $1,000 donation to enhance the program and a plaque recognizing the program. Thank you to all the food retail and supplier companies that each day take one step closer to making the world a better place.  

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