From summer Easter egg sales to protect the jobs of the developmentally disabled in Dierbergs’ hometown of St. Louis to Publix contributing $1 million to the National Urban League, WGB presents the good news of the week.
‘Let’s End the Injustice. Let’s Stand Together.’
With diversity top of mind for grocers around the country, Publix recently pledged to make a $1 million contribution to National Urban League affiliates across the Southeast in support of the organization’s civil rights efforts. It joins a host of other grocers making similar donations in support of racial equality and social justice.
In a web post entitled, “Committed to Diversity,” the Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer wrote “Let’s end the injustice. Let’s stand together.” The words preceded a letter from CEO Todd Jones to its associates.
“The last few months have brought unprecedented challenges to our company and our country. Throughout this time, I’ve been proud of Publix associates, working in our stores, facilities and behind the scenes to do what we have historically done so well—care for each other and our communities,” said Jones in the letter. “Today, it’s evident that our support and compassion are required on an even deeper level.”
Kroger Gifts $1.5 Million to Further Zero Hunger, Zero Waste Fund
The Kroger Co.’s Louisville Division is making a $1.5 million pledge to the University of Louisville (UofL) to create the Kroger Zero Hunger, Zero Waste Fund at UofL. The fund will provide support in three main areas: diversity and inclusion, food security and sustainability, and leadership development.
“Our combined efforts around food insecurity and sustainability and our focus on diversity and inclusion will drive innovation and improvement for Kroger and the university,” said Ann Reed, Louisville division president for Kroger, in a statement.
Highlights of the Kroger gift include $80,000 annually for undergraduate scholarships, with strong preference given to low-income, under-represented minorities pursuing STEM-H careers;$30,000 annually to UofL’s Office of Diversity and Equity; and $30,000 annually to create and fuel a UofL Employee Success Center.
The Kroger gift also includes support for the renovation and expansion of the Cardinal Cupboard and the donation of a vehicle to help volunteers gather items to stock the on-campus food pantry. Through the partnership, Kroger dietitians, nutritionists and other experts also will host cooking classes and information.
Hy-Vee Exceeds $1 Million Food Bank Goal
Hy-Vee Inc., which recently announced its goal to collaborate with customers in raising $1 million in support of local food banks struggling with pandemic-related food insecurity, has exceeded its $1 million goal.
Since the start of the campaign, more than $1,082,000 has been raised to provide supplies to 17 Feeding America-affiliated food banks across eight states. Together, the 17 food banks distribute supplies to a network of up to 5,500 local food agencies across approximately 515 counties in West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee’s regional footprint.
Hy-Vee initially launched the campaign with the goal of raising $1 million to help restock food banks’ shelves and to raise awareness about food insecurity resulting from the pandemic. From March 23 to May 31, Hy-Vee customers were encouraged to donate $1 or more at checkout or via Hy-Vee Aisles Online. Communications platform Retail Zipline also donated an additional $25,000 to the campaign in recognition of its new partnership with Hy-Vee.
The grocer matched donations dollar for dollar, up to $500,000, from its Hy-Vee One Step program, which is funded by proceeds from sales of select Hy-Vee products to assist those in need and help various causes.
Dierbergs Protects Jobs for Developmentally Disabled
It’s an unlikely time of year to promote candy-filled colorful eggs, but that’s just what Dierbergs Markets is aiming to do in an effort to assist two local businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.
The St. Louis-based grocer hopes to sell 3.5 million colorful eggs filled with wrapped candy across its 25 locations in support of the family-owned American Carnival Mart (ACM), which depends on Easter egg sales each spring to support its business throughout the year. ACM partners with Canterbury Enterprises, a local sheltered workshop that employs people with disabilities in St. Louis to fill the eggs with wrapped candy.
To help both of these operations, Dierbergs Markets will sell the eggs in stores now through July 7th. “We would appreciate the community’s help toward keeping these individuals employed and a local business in operation,” said Bob Dierberg, chairman of Dierbergs Markets, in a release. “Dierbergs will absorb any freight and labor expense so all proceeds of the eggs will go directly back to ACM and Canterbury Enterprises.”
Canterbury Enterprises relies on the wrapped candy-filled egg business from ACM year-round to help employ more than 90 individuals with disabilities.
Pepsi Puts $400 Million Towards Increasing Black Representation
PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta (pictured) has pledged that the Purchase, N.Y.-based company will invest more than $400 million in a set of initiatives over five years “to lift up black communities and increase black representation at PepsiCo.”
“As people around the world demand justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and far too many others, we have been thinking hard about how PepsiCo can help dismantle the systemic racial barriers that for generations have blocked social and economic progress for black people in this country,” said Laguarta in a statement. “We know that the first step toward change is to speak up, so I want to be very clear: Black Lives Matter, to our company and to me.”
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