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Foundation Awareness Week Highlights NGAF’s Offerings

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As part of Foundation Awareness Week, the National Grocers Association Foundation highlighted its initiatives to advance diversity, leadership development and careers in the independent grocery industry.

The campaign July 10-14 focused on a different pillar of foundation priorities each day, with targeted content shared though member communications and social media posts, including testimonials by key participants in the initiatives.

Content illustrated the importance of such programs to the industry’s future and how donation support from members drives program success.

“From helping grocers attract and retain top talent, to mentoring students and promoting grocery as a career option, to encouraging diversity initiatives to help retailers better reflect the communities they serve, the NGA foundation is dedicated to supporting independent grocers,” said Chelsea Matzen, director.

“We welcome grocers’ continued support of foundation programs, whether through donations or commitment of their time and expertise.”

The session July 10 focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, encompassing NGAF’s Women Grocers of America, its share groups of women executives and emerging leaders and related scholarship programs.

The diversity programs include the PepsiCo Diversity in Leadership and WGA scholarships, which are awarded annually to those seeking to attend the Executive Leadership Development Program. In addition, there are educational webinars, including one on hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The July 11 session focused on industry promotion, including support for efforts to attract and retain employees. Communicating the grocery industry’s importance is essential to ensuring retailers have access to qualified candidates.

Initiatives include the foundation’s Career Center, which allows NGA members to post job opportunities at no cost, and educational content about the diversity of positions available in the independent grocery industry and their value. 

On July 12, the foundation brought attention to student programs, including the annual Student Case Study Competition, as well as its scholarship program for college students exploring careers in the industry. Since 2016, more than 100 students have received scholarships.

The next day, the foundation looked at leadership development, including the Executive Leadership Development Program, its annual conference held at Cornell University. Over the past decade, more than 400 emerging leaders have graduated from it.

Support for the foundation strengthens programs that retain top industry talent, create the next generation and build tomorrow’s leaders.

The week concluded July 14 with a focus on technical assistance for independent grocers administered by the foundation, including how to offer SNAP online and other nutrition incentive programs.

“NGA members are at the heart of the community and the technical assistance center is committed to creating awareness and providing the necessary resources to help our members fulfill that mission,” said Jimmy Wright, owner of Alabama-based Wright’s Market.

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