Natural Grocers has established The Natural Grocers Heroes in Aprons Fund, a nonprofit organization recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Heroes in Aprons Fund brings together the Lakewood, Colo.-based company’s long-standing charitable efforts under one umbrella. It provides both short-term financial assistance to its “good4u Crew” or employees who experience unanticipated hardships and directs grants to Natural Grocers’ charity partners in the community.
Established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Heroes in Aprons Fund embodies Natural Grocers’ founding principles of commitment to its employees and to its communities, the company said.
Natural Grocers’ history of charitable giving goes back to its inception in 1955, when co-founder Margaret Isely kept a community food cabinet at the retailer’s first store, from which she would give families in need the ingredients for a nutritious meal.
Over the subsequent decades, Natural Grocers has developed enduring partnerships with various charities that better the lives of the communities in the 20 states the company serves, it said. Charitable partners include organizations that focus on fighting food insecurity, fostering sustainability and protecting the planet, providing relief to communities impacted by natural disasters, civil rights advocacy, and scholarship endowments for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Heroes in Aprons will rely primarily on corporate donations from Natural Grocers and individual donations from crew members, the company said. Funds will be collected throughout the year from sales-based giveback programs, as well as company initiatives centered on current events and community needs.
The first official Heroes in Aprons fundraising effort will coincide with Natural Grocers’ 66th anniversary celebration, when 1% of all sales on Aug. 12 will be donated to the charity.
“Our good4u Crew and communities are the backbone of this company and supporting their health and well-being goes beyond free nutrition education and affordable, nutritious groceries,” said Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers chairman and co-president, in a statement. “Along with our customers, we have always been active supporters of our good4u Crew and causes that sustain the flourishing of our communities. We are proud to officially launch Heroes in Aprons to further our continued charitable efforts.”
In addition to providing short-term financial assistance to company employees and their immediate family members, the Heroes in Aprons Fund will also provide grants to charitable organizations that better the lives of the communities Natural Grocers serves.
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