WASHINGTON, DC — February 15, 2005 — In appreciation of outstanding community-based initiatives established by supermarkets, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) is accepting nominations for the 2005 Neighborhood Partnership Awards (NPA). The awards, which are presented annually to member companies for their ongoing work to support and improve their communities, will be presented at the 2005 FMI Show, May 1-3, in Chicago, IL.   The deadline for entries is March 31.

The awards program, now in its ninth year, recognizes companies that contribute significantly to the neighborhoods they serve in the areas of youth development, hunger relief, health and wellness, and urban economic development.

“Supermarkets are unique in their ability and interest in addressing community challenges,” said Henry Hailstock, FMI’s director of diversity and community relations. “Because they expect to be in a neighborhood for years, their community efforts are well-developed commitments that are designed to last. The Neighborhood Partnership Awards are intended to spotlight these supermarkets for their everyday dedication to making positive and profound differences in the lives of their customers.”

Five winners will be recognized for their community-enhancing programs. Applicants will compete against companies within one of the following member categories: 0-9 stores, 10-29 stores, 30-99 stores, 100-299 stores and 300 or more stores.

The competition is open to FMI’s retailer and wholesaler member companies. Program entries must demonstrate a positive impact in the areas of youth development, hunger relief, health and wellness, or urban economic development. Programs must have been in place for at least one year, or long enough for identified goals and objectives to be measured.

Past winners may participate if they have added a new component to their program or have a new program to enter.

Winners will receive $1,000 to enhance their program, a plaque recognizing their achievement, a program profile on FMI’s Web site and a mention in the FMI DailyLead.

For more information, please visit the FMI Web site at www.fmi.org, or contact Nadine Bartholomew at (202) 220-0664 or nbartholomew@fmi.org.