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Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has named its 2015 Community Outreach Awards, which highlight the often unreported ways that supermarkets help their surrounding communities.
This year's winners are:
- Youth Development: Russ’s Market, for the Russ’s Community Harvest Festival, a celebration in aid of local schools. The Lincoln, Neb.-based grocer’s fall event collected more than $2,600 in donations. To date, the program has raised more than $4,200 for Lincoln and Hastings, Neb., elementary schools.
- Food Insecurity: Food Lion, for the Great Pantry Makeover, which aimed to renovate 30 pantries in 30 days in the grocer's 10-state footprint, and give back 1,200 service hours to the various communities in which the stores operate. Hundreds of associates volunteered to expand, refurbish and restock 38 local food pantries. Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion exceeded its goals, donating 1.7 million meals and 1,400 service hours.
- Neighborhood Health Improvement: Weis Markets, for the Weis Mystery Tours, developed by the Sunbury, Pa.-based grocer's registered dietitians to reinforce the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Department of Education health and wellness curricula. The free interactive, in-store nutrition education field trip program teaches children age 7-10 the fundamentals of healthy eating as a way to combat childhood obesity. Since its inception, the program has run more than 950 tours for 14,000-plus kids.
- People's Pick Social Media Category: More than 2,000 people voted in FMI's #GrocersDoingGood Facebook Contest, which resulted in the election of Abington, Va.-based Food City, which helps its community in a variety of ways, among them donating food to feed more than 2,500 people at a community block party, teaming with five local schools to recycle 3 million plastic bags, and giving annually to a range of Christmas-themed events for needy and vulnerable populations.
Nominations for the annual awards are judged based on store-level, corporate and community participation; whether the endeavor addresses a community need; the breadth and depth of the program under consideration; and the initiative’s originality and creativity. Companies must be FMI members to be eligible.
Winners receive a $1,000 donation to benefit the program, a plaque, program recognition on the Arlington, Va.-based trade organization’s website and digital communications, inclusion in FMI media initiatives, and inclusion in an online data bank for food retail community service projects.