Hy-Vee Inc. has become the latest grocer to make a stand for racial unity and equality, donating $1 million and committing to provide 1 million volunteer hours to organizations that support the cause throughout its retail footprint.
Hy-Vee employees have already begun volunteering in the Minneapolis area, where George Floyd lived and died, working with local organizations to provide meals, snacks andwater to people in affected neighborhoods. The grocer’s associates have also helped with community cleanup efforts in the Twin Cities.
“There are times when actions speak volumes and when actions can help to create real, long-lasting change – and for us, this is one of those times,” noted Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president. “Hy-Vee was founded on a guiding set of principles we call our 15 fundamentals. Four of those fundamentals – fairness, caring, respect and dignity – deeply pertain to the current situation our country is facing today. All those who call Hy-Vee home – whether it be an employee, customer or supplier – should and will feel welcomed, included and appreciated. Anything less is unacceptable.”
The grocer’s donation will be funded through its philanthropic One Step program, which to date has provided an additional $1 million during the COVID-19 pandemic to Feeding America-affiliated food banks throughout Hy-Vee’s eight-state region, among other endeavors.
Among the other food retailers that have donated funds and time to fight racism following Floyd’s death last month in police custody are H-E-B, Kroger, Publix, Target and Walmart.
Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 265 retail stores across eight Midwestern states. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 33 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food retailers in the United States. Walmart, Kroger, Target, Publix and H-E-B are Nos. 1, 3, 7, 12 and 17 on the list, respectively.