FMI launches its awards program to emphasize food retailers’ and suppliers’ critical role as pillars of community

Arlington, VA –
 FMI – The Food Industry Association today announces that its longstanding Community Outreach Awards will be renamed to the Community Uplift Awards. The switch from outreach to uplift acknowledges the food industry’s impactful role as a driver of community engagement and well-being, while highlighting the myriad ways food retailers and suppliers go beyond their day-to-day operations through acts of public service, philanthropy, education and advocacy. The program is now accepting applications for entry. 

“The food industry has a proud heritage of being good neighbors and as the needs of our respective communities have expanded, so has the scope of our interactions, support and involvement.” says FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin. “By reimagining our awards program, FMI is recognizing the diverse contributions of food retailers and suppliers toward lifting their communities up; making them happier, healthier and more prosperous places.” 

Since 2012, the Community Uplift Awards have placed a necessary spotlight on 122 local grocery community programs. Together these programs have raised over $285 million for communities in need – $245 million of which went toward providing educational and nutritional resources for children and families. 

There are three award categories that grocery companies can apply for:  

  1. Youth Development Programs, which include education, employment, job readiness and mentoring or tutoring initiatives 

  1. Programs Addressing Food Insecurity, such as food drives, food bank donations and commitments to increase access to fresh food in underserved areas 

  1. Neighborhood Health Improvement Programs, like blood drives, health related runs or walks, sustainability education and community involvement. 

Nominations are judged based on store-, corporate- or community-level participation; addressing a community need; breadth and depth of the program; originality and creativity. Companies must be FMI members to participate. 

Winners will receive $1,000 toward their respective program, recognition on FMI’s website and social channels as well as in FMI media initiatives recognizing grocery store community contributions. 

FMI welcomes all food retailers and suppliers to submit a nomination and showcase their invaluable efforts to uplift the communities they serve. Nominations for the 2021 Community Uplift Awards open Monday, Sept. 13, and close Friday, Sept. 24, at 5:00 p.m. EST. Winners will be announced Thursday, Oct. 7. For more information and to apply, please visit