The operator of New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets has become the latest grocer to offer help to unpaid and furloughed federal employees
One month into the partial government shutdown – which has become the longest shutdown in U.S. history – the West Coast independent grocer that operates New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets has begun offering a discount to furloughed and unpaid federal workers to ensure that they have access to fresh, quality food.
Any customers who show their federal government identification card will receive a 15 percent discount on most items in any of New Seasons' Oregon, Washington and California stores, and New Leaf's Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, Calif., stores for the duration of the partial shutdown.
"New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets are passionate about feeding and nourishing our communities," said Mark Law, COO of New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets. "While we wait for an end to the partial government shutdown, we’d like to make that a little easier for affected federal employees and contractors."
The program was inspired by talks with store staff. Upon discussing the concerns, New Seasons immediately embraced the idea.
As federal workers deal with the effects of the government shutdown, grocers and consumer packaged goods companies alike are working to ease the pain and any difficulty accessing quality, healthful food. For example:
- Mid-Atlantic grocer Weis Markets has moved up store shipments of in-demand items to aid SNAP recipients, who have received their February benefits early due to the shutdown.
- Jackson Whole Grocer, an independent grocer in Jackson, Wyo., has offered help to struggling federal workers, providing, under its JWG Federal Worker Appreciation Program, a no-interest line of credit of up to $200 per week and a 10 percent discount to affected employees, with no payments required until the shutdown ends.
- The Warfield IGA in Warfield, Ky., also has begun extending credit to federal workers.
- Manufacturer Kraft Foods opened a pop-up grocery store Jan. 16-20 in Washington, D.C., to support furloughed and unpaid government workers by helping them stock up on pantry staples. The store provided federal workers with government identification such products as Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kraft Natural Cheese, Kraft Singles, Kraft Salad Dressings, Kraft Mayo and Kraft BBQ Sauce. In response, the company asked employees to pay it forward by donating to a charity or needy person when they can.
In other New Seasons news, the grocer today revealed changes to its corporate structure. Co-President Forest Hoffmaster has been named CEO, while Co-President Kristi McFarland has become chief strategy officer, responsible for building a meaningful business strategy tied to the company’s mission.
Portland, Ore.-based New Seasons Market operates 21 independent grocery stores in Washington, Oregon and California, as well as four New Leaf Community Market locations in Northern California.