FMI Honors 6 for Community Outreach

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has revealed the six winners of its 2013 Community Outreach Awards. The awards pay tribute to food retailers’ innovative charitable programs to aid the communities surrounding their stores.

“These programs, and all those submitted, serve as vivid reminders that the longstanding tradition of the neighborhood supermarket enriching the life of its community is alive and well,” noted David Fikes, VP of communications and consumer affairs at Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “Reaching well beyond the food they provide their shoppers, grocery stores seek to be an involved light in the local community, a beacon of shining hope.”

Two winners each were chosen across three categories: programs food insecurity, youth development and neighborhood health improvement. Entries were evaluated on participation, community need and impact. FMI will give the winners $1,000 apiece to further their respective programs.

And the Winners Are …

In the food insecurity category:

  • PCC Natural Markets, Seattle: Shoppers contribute cash donations and reusable bag rebates to fund the purchase of bulk food, which is repackaged during bimonthly parties at 10 participating food pantries.
  • Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa: This annual campaign, created in 2002 to revitalize a 25-year partnership with Iowa’s largest food pantry, spotlights associates’ creativity and consumers’ willingness to give.

In the neighborhood health improvement category:

  • Klein’s ShopRite of Maryland, Baltimore: Through a partnership with the City of Baltimore and several nonprofit organizations, the retailer held an event that enabled citizens to voluntarily surrender guns in return for a $100 ShopRite gift card.
  • First Alternative Co-Op, Corvallis, Ore.: Shoppers using reusable bags vote for charities and, over the course of the year, 16 charities receive proportional donations.

In the youth development category:

Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif.: High school students from local low-income neighborhoods take part in workshops and activities designed to help them succeed professionally despite the obstacles.
Big Y Food Stores Inc., Springfield, Mass.: The chain’s youth program centers on Y-AIM: Achieve academically, Inspire to attend college, and Move toward personal, family and community advancement.

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