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The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has revealed the four winners of its 2014 Community Outreach Awards, which pay tribute to the charitable programs created by food retailers to help their local communities.
"In an industry experiencing tumultuous change, the generous spirit and community-focused attitude of food retailers remains a constant," said David Fikes, VP of communications and consumer affairs at Arlington, Va.-based FMI. "Our 2014 awardees, and all nominees, demonstrated great creativity and dedication in finding new ways of fulfilling the food retailer call to feed families and enrich the lives of those they serve."
Winners were named in four categories: programs addressing food insecurity, youth development, neighborhood health improvement programs and community engagement. In 2014, FMI added a community engagement category to recognize the retailer who best engaged its online social community and received the most fan support for its program on Facebook. FMI’s judging criteria included participation, community need and impact.
The winners are as follows:
- Food Insecurity Program: Food Lion Feeds, launched by Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion with a commitment to donate 500 million meals to needy families by the end of 2020. In 2014, more than 40 million meals were donated.
- Neighborhood Health Improvement Program: Viva la Salud, created by Anaheim, Calif.-based Northgate Gonzalez Market to provide affordable, quality health products and services, among them in-store mammograms and health screenings.
- Youth Development Program: Hy-Vee/Sanford Legends, which helps local nonprofit sports organizations build facilities, purchase equipment and improve their programs. The program, which West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee began in 2005, has raised $1,298,000 to date.
- Community Engagement: Russ's Community Rewards, which enables customers of Lincoln, Neb.-based Russ's Market to use points earned through in-store shopping to support local organizations. So far, 2,700 households have used their points to redeem over 11,000 offers for organizations.
Each winner will receive $1,000 from FMI to further its program. Nominations for the 2015 Community Outreach Awards will open in autumn 2015.