NEW YORK – September 12, 2000 – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today presented three supermarket companies with the 2000 Neighborhood Partnership Awards for outstanding public/private partnerships that revitalize and maintain their communities. The 2000 award program included 33 entries in four categories: community partnerships, youth development, health-oriented/nutrition and hunger. In addition to subject categories, entries were separated in to three levels of annual sales to recognize varying levels of budget and staff: less than $70 million, between $70 million and $360 million and more than $360 million.

The 2000 award winners and $3,000 grants were presented to PCC Natural Markets (Seattle, WA), K.V. Mart Co. (Carson, CA) and H-E-B Grocery Company (San Antonio, TX). Each $3,000 grant will be applied to continue or expand their award-winning program.

PCC Natural Markets' Farmland Fund operates to secure and preserve prime organic growing areas in Western Washington. To initiate the program, the naturals co-op donated five percent of all produce sales in October 1999. On-going fundraising is conducted through voluntary payroll deductions, vendor sales promotions, customer contributions and corporate donations. The company's goal is to raise more than $1 million for land purchases over the next three years. PCC won out of the less than $70 million sales category.

Many of K.V. Mart Co.'s stores are located in socio-economically disadvantaged areas of Los Angeles. For the past four years, the company has organized an Annual Invitational Golf Tournament and Banquet to raise funds supporting extra curricular activities at elementary and secondary schools in the company's marketing area. To date, this fundraiser has donated more than $160,000 to local schools. This year, six schools each received $10,000. K.V. Mart Co. won out of the between $70 and $360 million sales category.

H-E-B Grocery Company's 14-year-old Great Earth Initiative is a program that provides environmental education and solutions in each of the 150 communities served by the company. The initiative involves partner/employee education, community/customer education and community outreach. Specific projects have included lake and river cleanups; on-site recycling; auto emissions screening; co-chaired Texas Recycles Day. H-E-B donates $500,000 annually to teachers and nonprofit groups to support environmental education programs. The company won out of the more than $360 million sales category.

"FMI congratulates the three Neighborhood Partnership Award winners and applauds the efforts of all supermarket companies committed to serving their community," said Todd Turner, vice president of membership and urban affairs at FMI. "The various program entries received this year clearly demonstrate the supermarket industry’s commitment to enhancing the neighborhoods in which they do business."

For more information on NPA, please contact FMI at 202-452-8444.