Bringing its many charity efforts under a single umbrella, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has created The Natural Grocers Heroes in Aprons Fund. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization will provide both internal and external assistance, supporting employees who are experiencing hardships and directing grants to the company’s community charity partners.
The Heroes in Aprons program will be funded through corporate donations from Natural Grocers and individual donations from employees, also called the “good4u Crew.” Sales-based giveback programs will also sustain the new nonprofit entity, with the first fundraising campaign coming up on Aug. 12, during Natural Grocers’ 66th anniversary celebration.
The funds will be used to help crew members or their immediate family members who are facing economic hardship due to illness, natural disasters or other unforeseen circumstances. Monies will also be directed to the grocer’s charitable partners, including those that address food insecurity, sustainability, natural disasters, civil rights and equity.
"Our good4u Crew and communities are the backbone of this company and supporting their health and well-being goes beyond free nutrition education and affordable, nutritious groceries," commented Kemper Isely, the natural and organic food retailer’s chairman and co-president. "Along with our customers, we have always been active supporters of our good4u Crew and causes that sustain the flourishing of our communities.”
Natural Grocers has more than 3,500 employees and operates 159 stores in 20 states. The Lakewood, Colo.-based company is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.