When Jim Wood, District Manager, was told he would be opening a new store in the Fresno community, he felt it was important to make sure the community understood Smart & Final was there to make a positive difference and provide support for the area before we ever sold any product. With a block in much need to clean up and care within two blocks of the new store, Jim and his team decided to adopt Lafayette Park. Two weeks before the store’s doors opened, Jim, along with S&F associates from throughout central California and some community volunteers, participated in a fantastic park clean-up.
Approximately 40 Smart & Final associates participated in the park clean-up that included washing the playground, sweeping, power washing and painting. Additionally, one of our vendors, BMS, donated their time, product and equipment to stripping, scrubbing, cleaning and waxing the Recreation Hall at the park. Jim also partnered with Frito-Lay and PepsiCo to assist with providing product and beverages, while Smart & Final provided lunch and snacks for all volunteers. They also had four volunteers of their own. Additionally, The Way Ministry, which uses the park’s Recreation Hall on weekends, also had members volunteer. Smart & Final’s local district has now adopted Lafayette Park for the next year.
The Lafayette Park clean-up and adoption was meant to show that before we even open our doors, Smart & Final is there to partner with them and to improve the community. It was also an opportunity to get involvement from associates all throughout the city of Fresno as well as the rest of district. We had associates come from as far as Modesto to participate.
We feel the clean-up was highly successful and highly impactful to the entire area which surrounds the store. In talking with the director of all parks and recreation he stated this was the best event ever held in Fresno County for a volunteer day and was completely blown away by the number of associates and people willing to help out for a great cause. By adopting the park going forward, and having our associates and management team members volunteer an hour or two a month to ensure the park is maintained as being a part of the community in which we do business, will continue to make the program impactful.
Smart & Final has a long history of contributing to the communities it serves. I'm proud of Jim and his entire district for coming together for this worthy cause and for their commitment to continuing to give back to the community of Fresno through their adoption of Lafayette Park. Dave Hirz President & CEO