Through its recently launched 2023 Feeding More Together spring campaign, Publix Super Markets is donating nonperishable food and fresh produce to local Feeding America member food banks and pantries.
During the campaign, associates and customers can donate any dollar amount at the register, up to $1,000, to help support their food-insecure neighbors. Customer donations provide nonperishable food items needed most by area food banks and pantries.
Also as part of the initiative, Publix is donating $5 million in fresh produce this spring in the company’s operating area.
“We are proud to continue our founder George Jenkins’ legacy of giving back to our communities,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “Through our Feeding More Together campaign, donations will be given to local food banks to help alleviate hunger for our neighbors experiencing food insecurity.”
Employee-owned and -operated Publix has more than 1,300 supermarkets and 240,000-plus associates in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. The Lakeland, Fla.-based company is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.
In a bid to support residents in rural and underserved communities and cut down on the number of food deserts, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the creation of the Illinois Grocery Initiative. The governor shared some details of the plan in his recent State of the State address and fiscal 2024 budget presentation.
Through this initiative, the state would invest upwards of $20 million in local communities to open or expand grocery stores in areas considered a food desert. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Access Atlas reveals pockets of food deserts both in the city of Chicago and in parts of central and southern Illinois.
“We ... need to recognize that it does no good to provide a family with more money to purchase food if they have no local grocery store to shop at,” Pritzker declared. He also noted that despite the state and local governments’ efforts to incentivize large chains to come to rural and underserved areas, some retailers eventually pull out. (Although he didn’t name a particular company, the 2022 closing of a Whole Foods in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood attracted a lot of community, political and social media attention.)
Instead, Pritzker proposed independent grocers can fill an important void. “It’s time we return to a tried and true model — one where those communities are served by independent, local grocery stores that sell food grown by Illinois farmers,” he said.
The Illinois Grocery Initiative also includes $2 million earmarked for the purchase of healthy, nutritious food from Illinois farmers. With nearly 72,000 farms within its borders, the Midwestern state is a leading producer of soybeans and corn, and its farmers and growers also provide wheat, oats, hay, fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry.
This isn’t Pritzker’s first foray into food retailing relief. Last year, the state suspended its 1% sales tax on groceries through July 1 of this year.
Tyson Foods is widening its protein operations. The Springdale, Ark.-based conglomerate is acquiring Williams Sausage Co. of Union City, Tenn.
Founded in 1958 by Hazel and Harold Williams as a small processor selling sausages to local consumers, Williams Sausage Co. now produces a variety of fresh and fully cooked sausage products, along with bacon and sandwiches for both retail and foodservice operations across the country.
In 2017, Williams Sausage Co. built a new 200,000-square-foot production facility and distribution center. Currently, the processor employs more than 500 workers across its operations.
“The addition of Williams Sausage Co. aligns with our strategic intent of expanding our capacity to serve our customers,” said Stewart Glendinning, group president, prepared foods at Tyson. “We also look forward to welcoming Williams’ dedicated team members to the Tyson Foods family.”
Roger Williams, president and CEO of Williams Sausage Co., said that the deal builds on ongoing growth. “The Williams family has been very blessed for the last 65 years by dedicated team members, great customers, and fantastic suppliers that have allowed us to build a quality food company,” he declared. “There are not many companies to which we could entrust what we have built, and we are very pleased that in Tyson Foods we have found that partner who understands the heritage and culture of our family business and will be able to take it to the next level. We believe this to be a very positive move for our family and our team members that will ensure the future of all stakeholders.”
The agreement will be reviewed by U.S. regulators. Terms of the acquisition were not discussed.
The Kroger Co. has opened a new delivery service center in Austin, Texas, for e-commerce order fulfillment. The developer of the Tuscany Logistics Center in that city announced the completion of the project.
The 70,000-square-foot delivery service center will be leased by Kroger for six years, according to owner Dalfen Industrial. “Kroger's selection of Tuscany Logistics for their first last mile spoke facility in Austin speaks to the quality and strategic location of our development," said Dudney, senior asset manager at Dalfen. "The expansion of e-commerce grocery delivery services is a prime example of why last mile industrial real estate continues to be in such high demand across the nation."
The Austin delivery center is a spoke of Kroger’s highly-automated fulfillment center in Dallas. Unveiled in July 2022, that 350,000-square-foot hub is powered by Kroger and e-comm grocery tech company Ocado and can fill 18,000 orders a day.
The Austin spoke facility serves as a last mile cross-deck to expand Kroger’s delivery service, which includes items from the Boost by Kroger membership program. Other regional spoke sites include centers in San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Earlier this month, Kroger also opened a 60,000-square-foot spoke facility in South Florida.
When Kroger announced the addition of its e-comm delivery service in Austin in 2022, the retailer shared that the site will create more than 160 jobs.
Enterprise technology provider NCR Corp.has extended and expanded a long-term agreement with drug store chain Walgreens, making NCR the provider of ATM services at nearly all of the retailer’s stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
The expanded sites will join the many Walgreens locations already served by NCR’s Allpoint ATM network, which offers surcharge-free cash access to 1,200-plus issuers, including two of the five largest U.S. banks by deposit, representing more than 70 million cardholders. Further, under the agreement, Walgreens will gain more than 1,300 Allpoint+ cash-accepting ATMs, enabling “cash-in” transactions as well as traditional “cash-out” transactions, and bringing a traditional branch function into the retail environment.
At many of the ATMs, Atlanta-based NCR has enabled consumers to purchase Bitcoin via NCR’s LibertyX platform. Additionally, NCR Pay360, a mobile platform that allows consumers to send and receive cash from various sources with a simple code, will be enabled across NCR’s Walgreens installation.
“When consumers walk into any Walgreens in the country, they will know they have access to safe, reliable everyday banking services delivered through NCR ATMs,” noted Don Layden, EVP, president, NCR Banking. “Through Allpoint and other NCR innovations, Walgreens will be able to better serve its customers while enjoying greater foot traffic driven by the many differentiated services offered. We are proud to be supporting Walgreens’ vision of delivering more joyful lives through better financial health.”
Stop & Shop is asking potential employees to stop right in for work. The New England retailer is holding a one-day career fair for all of its locations on Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On-the-spot interviews will be held for a variety of positions, including 2,800 part-time and certain full-time roles across various functions and departments. Full-time selector jobs are also available at Stop & Shop’s distribution center in Freetown, Mass.
“At Stop & Shop, we pride ourselves on being an inclusive workplace. We believe that the voices of our team members should reflect a diverse set of ideas, experiences, and backgrounds. Many members of Stop & Shop’s leadership team started as store associates. The roles we offer at Stop & Shop are more than jobs, they are growth opportunities,” said Maria Silvestri, SVP of human resources.
To fill the open roles, Stop & Shop is touting competitive pay, paid training, flexible schedules, a company discount on groceries and paid time off, along with coaching, cross-functional job rotation and opportunities for advancement. Tuition reimbursement for programs in business or food industry-related education is also available.
To apply, cashiers, baggers, produce, bakery, floral and grocery clerks must be at least 16 years old; all other positions require applicants to be 18 years of age or older. Interest job seekers can apply online in advance online.