The California Grocers Association Educational Foundation has received a record donation from the California Independent Grocers Association (CIGA) that will significantly expand the funding of college scholarships, tuition reimbursement and industry educational opportunities for independent grocer members of CGA and their dependents.
The $403,000 gift was the result of the recent merger between CIGA and CGA and represents the single largest donation to the foundation’s 22-year history.
“We are proud to support the mission of CGAEF,” said former CIGA Executive Committee Chair Bob Parriott of Twain Harte Market. “At a time when students continuously struggle to continue their education while lessening their financial burden, this program ensures that hundreds of students in our industry will receive the financial support they need.”
Parriott presented the check to CGAEF Chair Jim Van Gorkom of NuCal Foods during a recent CGA board of directors meeting. Also as part of the merger, former CIGA board member Kelly Augustine of United Markets Inc. was elected to the CGAEF board of trustees.
“CIGA’s donation to CGAEF is a huge investment in the development of tomorrow’s grocery industry leaders,” said CGAEF President Ron Fong. “We are grateful for CIGA’s tremendous generosity and its members which allow the foundation an opportunity to provide college scholarships to deserving students.”
Currently the largest statewide program in America supporting the grocery industry, the CGAEF’s College Scholarship and Career Development programs offer $500,000 annually in financial relief from ever-rising costs that prevent many from completing their education.
Beginning with a single scholarship in 1992, the foundation has grown exponentially over the last 22 years to bestow nearly 2,900 worthy college students with awards totaling more than $3.4 million—ensuring that California’s grocery employees and their dependents have the resources necessary to start or complete their higher education. In addition, the foundation’s Career Development Tuition Reimbursement Program has surpassed the $1 million mark in tuition reimbursement grants.
In the feature photo at top: Former CIGA Chair Bob Parriott of Twain Harte Market, left, presents a record donation check to CGA Educational Foundation Chair Jim Van Gorkom of NuCal Foods.