In these challenging and uncertain times, we all need a reason to smile. With a nod to actor John Krasinski’s SGN (Some Good News), WGB presents five good things that happened in grocery this week. Incidentally, Krasinski has just sold SGN to CBS. ABC and NBC should feel free to reach out to WGB if they're interested in talking about all the good news in the vibrant grocery industry ...
Food Friends to the Rescue
When the COVID-19 pandemic brought serious health risks and compromised food access—particularly for vulnerable populations–a group of lower-risk volunteers, along with a local supermarket, stepped in to help.
As relayed in this piece by the Daily Californian, four graduate students of University of California at Berkeley formed a platform known as SF Food Friends that aligns people in need with low-risk individuals who deliver their groceries, prescriptions and meals. The group has since aligned with a similar volunteer organization called SF Community Support
Key to the project's launch was cooperation from a local Grocery Outlet store, whose independent owner assembled $20 baskets of essential items for delivery to facilitate the project. As one of the students explained to the Daily Californian, they tried to partner with locally owned businesses who themselves could be more vulnerable to COVID disruption.
Hy-Vee Raises Money for Kids With Cancer
The Pinky Swear Foundation of Edina, Minn., is collaborating with longtime partner Hy-Vee Inc. of West Des Moines, Iowa, to host its first virtual Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon event on a national scale to help kids battling cancer and their families.
The event, which kicks off June 1, invites participants of all ages and abilities to join in the online fun through a variety of engaging activities. Along with a $15 registration fee, registered participants will also be asked to fundraise a minimum of $50 each in a variety of creative ways to raise crucial support to help families with a child battling cancer. Pinky Swear Foundation has a goal to raise more than $300,000 from this eight-weeklong virtual kids fitness event. Engaging content and weekly challenges, including an act of kindness or community service challenge, will be shared with registered participants via email and on Pinky Swear Foundation and Hy-Vee’s social media channels. The virtual event will conclude with a digital recognition ceremony on Aug. 1.
Southeastern Grocers Raises $1.28 Million for Food Banks
Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEG), parent company and home of Bi-Lo, Fresco y Mas, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, together with the SEG Gives Foundation, has donated nearly 258,000 $5 hunger relief bags to Feeding America. The more than $1.28 million worth of food will help provide meals to neighbors throughout the Southeast who are facing hunger due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation was made possible through generous customer and associate donations received during the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers’ in-store hunger relief program that took place May 5-15 at all store registers. The program gave customers the opportunity to help neighbors in need by purchasing a contactless $5 hunger relief bag containing nonperishable food items such as spaghetti, canned green beans, canned corn and boxes of macaroni and cheese.
No Evil Foods to Continue Pandemic Pay Raise Indefinitely
No Evil Foods, vegan makers of 100% plant-based and non-GMO meat alternatives, and a certified living wage employer, is extending an increase of all front-line production employees’ pay by $2.25 an hour, indefinitely. In addition to 100% employer-paid health insurance, paid time off, holidays and other benefits, Asheville, N.C.-based No Evil Foods now pays its front-line production employees an average of $17 an hour. The company initiated its “Our Team Is Freaking Awesome” temporary pay raise in April, but as the pandemic continues, the No Evil Foods founders felt this pay increase must continue.
“We have chosen to be a leader in the food industry and are thrilled to provide this indefinite pay increase to our team who have demonstrated their commitment to our mission to keep plant meat on shelves and make a vegan lifestyle more accessible for all,” said Sadrah Schadel, co-founder and chief creative officer of No Evil Foods, in a statement. “Everyone has been impacted on some level by this crisis but to carry on despite the circumstances is really admirable. We see them showing up every day and doing a heck of a job and we want to thank them for that.”
Farm Rich Celebrates Grocery Workers
Farm Rich has announced the results of its April/May “Snacktion Hero” campaign, which invited people to nominatea deserving grocery store employee, shopper, truck or delivery driver—anyone who helps get groceries to families and individuals—for the chance to be spotlighted as the week’s “Snacktion Hero.” St. Simons Island, Ga.-based Farm Rich, makers of frozen snacks and appetizers, randomly selected five employees a week to be recognized across social media and make a $500 donation for each “Hero” to a local food bank or pantry of their choice. In April, 586 nominations were submitted nominating local grocery store employees from across the country. While all of the nominees were considered “heroes” for their dedication and work, 20 individuals were randomly selected to be part of the “Snacktion Heroes” team, with additional recognition and donations made in their name to local food banks and pantries. As part of this initiative, Farm Rich is donating $10,000 to hunger relief organizations in local communities.