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    Natural Grocers Launches 'Midland Strong' T-Shirt Drive

    Aims to support Midlanders struggling with oil downturn

    In conjunction with its Midland Strong campaign, which launched last month, Natural Grocers has introduced a T-shirt fundraiser to help the Midland, Texas, community replace income it lost due to oil field layoffs.

    The  fundraiser supports American workers in two ways. First, buying an American-made T-shirt provides jobs for those who manufacture them. Second, for every T-shirt purchased, Natural Grocers is donating $5 to Midland Need to Read, a nonprofit organization that helps Midland adults prepare to find new jobs by providing continuing education and work skills training.

    The Midland Strong T-shirt fundraiser will run throughout the Midland Strong campaign, which will conclude on Sept. 24 with a family-friendly 5K.

    "Keeping jobs in America is key to boosting the economy and the American dream nationally, which is what we are trying to do locally in Midland by supporting the Need to Read program," said Heather Isely, EVP of Natural Grocers.

    Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers hopes to raise more than $750 for Midland Need to Read's services, including its Adult Literacy and G.E.D. preparation programs and English, reading, writing, math and technology classes. The community can easily order the limited-edition shirts by visiting Natural Grocers' website.

    "Over the last year, the economic landscape in the Permian Basin has drastically changed," explained Jessica Smith, the resource development director at Midland Need to Read. "Many [Midlanders] are looking for new jobs and must enhance their literacy skills. Midland Need to Read provides tutoring services and other resources for these adults, so that they may find sustainable employment."

    The Midland Strong T-shirt fundraiser, from which Natural Grocers is forgoing any profit, is just one way the company is giving back to the local community. In conjunction with the launch of the campaign, the grocer also created the seven-day good4U Midland Menu Planner and recipe list, which feeds a family of four for an average of less than $24 per meal.

    "We are here and part of this community," said Larry Parker, Midland Natural Grocers' store manager. "By supporting local organizations through donations and fundraisers, we are helping them help others in our community."


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