FMI – the Food Industry Association is proclaiming Feb. 22 as Supermarket Employee Day. A year after its launch that included participation from nearly every level of FMI’s membership – retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and state association partners – the 2022 holiday will continue to celebrate employees at every level for the work they do to feed families and enrich lives.
“Grocery stores are a critical part of the fabric of our communities. They are the essential pipeline in providing the food and consumer goods necessary to sustain the health and well-being of their friends, neighbors and customers,” said FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin. “As the global pandemic persists, supermarket employees remain committed to providing the services, resources and support families need to stay nourished, safe and healthy.”
Beyond helping keep pantries stocked and refrigerators full, 83 percent of supermarket employees actively lift up their hometowns, engaging in community support and building local ties through educational, philanthropic, public health and advocacy efforts. For example, food retailers provided more than 1.5 billion meals to Americans in need through the Feeding America network – the largest private donation stream to the organization in 2020.
They also provide jobs. At a time when many businesses were forced to close their doors or lay off workers, grocery stores actually increased their total number of employees by 10 percent in 2020, or roughly 500,000 individuals. To help jumpstart members’ plans to commemorate the holiday, FMI has created a full suite of turnkey tools and resources to accommodate their individual brands and budgets.
Last year, the food industry witnessed a full spectrum of celebration events for Supermarket Employee Day, including state and local proclamations; programs that invite customers to nominate supermarket heroes; reward sweepstakes; video tributes; headquarter celebrations; appreciation campaigns throughout the supply chain; social media campaigns and in-store activities.
“With more than 40,000 stores that sell food and grocery items in the U.S. alone, there are millions of hardworking frontline heroes to celebrate,” Sarasin said. “FMI looks forward to honoring them once again on this exciting and necessary holiday and calls on all members of the food industry to join the celebration on Feb. 22, Supermarket Employee Day.”
As the food industry association, FMI works with and on behalf of the entire industry to advance a safer, healthier and more efficient consumer food supply chain. FMI brings together a wide range of members across the value chain – from retailers that sell to consumers, to producers that supply food and other products, as well as the wide variety of companies providing critical services – to amplify the collective work of the industry.