The Minnesota Grocers Association Foundation (MGAF) awarded $25,000 in scholarships to employees or their dependents from Minnesota Grocers Association (MGA) member companies for the 2019-20 school year. The Foundation Scholarship program helps students who are related to Minnesota’s food industry by supporting their educational growth. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $800,000 in scholarships.
Scholarships are awarded by an impartial committee of educators and based on community involvement and academic achievements. This year, the MGA Foundation received 355 applications from 55 companies. Scholarship and grant funds were raised from an annual golf event and silent auction.
The 2019 MGAF Scholarship Winners are: Ariana Abraham from SpartanNash; Brooke Bentzen from Russ Davis Wholesale; Madeline Bersie from Coborn’s; Ashley Christensen from Erdman’s County Market; Duffy Davidson from Crystal Farms; Casey Gohmann from Gohmann’s Foods; Ryan Hansen from Kemps; Kyle Hanson from County Market/Jerry’s Enterprises Inc.; Michael Heile from UNFI/Supervalu; Peyton Hoiness from Rushford Foods; Lilly Johnson from Cub Foods/Jerry’s Enterprises Inc.; Andrew Krause from Bennett’s Food Center; Logan Ledman from Lunds & Byerlys; Talon Lenzen from SpartanNash; Alexis Pickard from Russ Davis Wholesale; Devon Rain from Lunds & Byerlys; Grace Rau from UNFI/Supervalu; Jacey Schlosser from JC’s Grocery; Austin Schmidt from Groceries Plus; Alexis Schmitz from Elden’s Fresh Foods; Addyson Struck from Cub Foods; Makaela Turner from Coborn’s; Adam Vossen from Coborn’s; Nicole Vranicar from Kowalski’s Market; and Daria Weinzierl from Lunds & Byerlys.
This year, the Piggyback Scholarship Program was available for members of the MGA, allowing companies to “piggyback” on the MGAF application process in order to provide a scholarship program specifically for their employees and employees’ dependents. Ten member companies participated and awarded a combined $49,500 in scholarships to 59 students.
The 2019 Piggyback Scholarship winners are:
• Chris’ Food Center: Abby Skluzacek and Sharon Stratton;
• Cub Foods: Greta Briese, Justen Bushnell, Abigail Simon, Grace Winters and Heidi Yang;
• Jerry’s Enterprises Inc.: Jacob Arndt, Lila Berg, Natalie Bous, Conor Brown, Kyle Hanson, Kendra Held, Marco Hernandez, Lilly Johnson, Lauren Jurek, Jonathon Krueger, Samantha Krueger, Dominic Laurson, Andrew Lonnes, Joseph Nihart, Zachary Pecha, Lily Raschke, Joshua Riley, Alec Rudh, Isaac Schmidt Jonsen and Gabriella Wenisch;
• Kemps: Benjamin Almquist, Brian Almquist, Catherine Cuthbert, Yasmina Dokara, Sheyenne Hamilton and Brianna Kalbakdalen;
• Kowalski’s Cos. Inc./Jim Kowalski Education Award: Jessica Crosson, Alexandra Evenson, Caiden Gagner, Malissa Galush, Sarah Klassen, Josh Matara, Ana Nelson, Nicholas Nelson, Qintiantian Nong, Samuel Schroeder, Kaitlyn Valencour and Nicole Vranicar;
• Mackenthun’s Fine Foods: Austin Pinske;
• Miner’s Inc. Achievement Scholarship: Sara Artley, Natalie Blevins, Sullivan Kosmas, Jacob Schmidt and Kalie Sjodin;
• S&R Qusberg Inc.: Braydon Koland;
• UNFI/Supervalu West Region Office: Maggie Gehling, Robbie Grace and Elizabeth Heile; and
• Teal’s Management/George and Pearl Teal: Lexi Goebel, McKenzie Laubach, Jackson Pearson and Madison Platz.
MGA is one of the oldest trade associations in the state, celebrating more than 120 years of advancing industry. With 300-plus retail, manufacturer and wholesale members supporting nearly 1,300 locations statewide, MGA members’ companies employ more than 150,000 union and non-union Minnesotans.