Food Lion Awarded ESGR Freedom Award

Food Lion was one of two Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) member companies to receive the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for its unwavering support of National Guard and Reserve members. Dollar General was the other award recipient.

The award, presented by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), recognizes employers that provide exceptional support to their National Guard and Reserve employees and their families. It’s the most prestigious of the DoD’s employer awards.

“[The retailers’] extraordinary support for those men and women in the National Guard and Reserve services who put their careers and lives on hold to defend America is laudable,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy, noting the ESGR’s “work to give employers the tools they need to ensure a seamless transition back to work for members of the National Guard and Reserve Services returning from active duty.”

Nominated by a New Bern, N.C., store manager, Food Lion management and employees help deployed associates and their families by sending care packages, performing home repairs, attending children’s events, sending flowers to spouses and providing lawn care. The Salisbury, N.C.-based division of the Delhaize group, a past winner of the Patriot Award, Above and Beyond Award and the ESGR Pro Patria Award, additionally permits employees who are spouses of deployed service members to transfer to other locations to be closer to family members during deployments. Over the past year, Food Lion has sent gift cards, phone cards, nonperishable food and a variety of other items to service members.

The Freedom Award began in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR. (

In other Food Lion news, the grocer last week presented a $250,000 check to Sherrie Couch of Mocksville, N.C., grand-prize winner of the summer Great Grocery Giveaway promotion. “The only thing I have ever won was a CD player; this is by far much better,” quipped Couch, who added that she used a lucky penny she found to scratch off the matching items on her game card.

The promotion, which ended earlier this month, included customers of Delhaize America banners Bottom Dollar Food, Hannaford and Sweetbay, as well as Food Lion banners Food Lion, Bloom, Harveys and Reid’s. Shoppers received a scratch-and-win game card for every qualifying transaction.

Food Lion employs about 74,000 associates in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

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