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    PG Web Extra: Honoring Our Heroes

    Retailers and CPG companies celebrate active and retired service personnel

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ

    Many retailers have entered into their own partnerships with CPG companies to support active-duty military and veterans.

    For example, last fall, Lisle, Ill.-based John Morrell Food Group’s Eckrich brand and platinum-selling country music star Randy Houser honored a military family with a night of surprises during Houser’s Nov. 22  tour stop at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore.

    The event began with Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Solso and his wife, Clare, being escorted backstage for a surprise meeting with Houser, during which he and Giant Food presented the family with a year of free groceries and an all-expenses paid getaway to Tucson, Ariz.

    “As a regional supermarket chain that operates in a market where many military bases are located, one of Giant’s core pillars of community outreach involves supporting our service members and their families,” says Jamie Miller, manager of public and community relations at Landover, Md.-based Giant Food, a division of Ahold USA.

    This is Houser’s first year supporting Operation Homefront families and partnering with Morrell, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc. Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit which provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Eckrich has provided more than $50,000 in free groceries to military families.

    Homefront help

    Meanwhile, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee Inc. administers Hy-Vee Homefront, an ongoing initiative to increase awareness of and support for organizations that serve the nation’s military members, veterans and their families. Plus, Hy-Vee has launched new efforts to recruit and hire military veterans.

    Through Hy-Vee Homefront, the Midwestern regional supermarket chain is extending efforts to include more organizations, and invites customers, employees, suppliers and communities to join the campaign to step up efforts to meet veterans’ needs at home.

    Further, Hy-Vee has supported Honor Flights for hundreds of veterans to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The grocer has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help hundreds of members of the Greatest Generation from the company’s home state to receive free tours of war memorials in the nation’s capital.



    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ
    • About Jim Dudlicek As editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer, Jim Dudlicek oversees daily operations of the magazine, spearheads its signature features, produces PG’s monthly Trend Alert newsletter on center store issues, moderates its regular webcast series, and writes and comments about a wide range of grocery issues. A food industry journalist since 2002, Jim came to PG in June 2010 after covering the dairy industry for 7½ years, during which time he served as chief editor of Dairy Field and Dairy Foods magazines. A graduate of Marquette University, Jim is fascinated by how truly progressive grocers inspire consumers to enjoy food, transforming the industry from mere merchants into educators that can take the most basic of all necessities and turn it into something profound and life-enhancing.

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