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NGA Foundation Scholarships Offer Boost To Students Who Are Our Future

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The future of the independent grocery industry largely depends upon having talented leadership that can steer it through changing times and dynamic market conditions.

Part of cultivating that leadership is encouraging today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders by demonstrating the opportunities and benefits of working in a business that uplifts communities and feeds the nation. And part of that encouragement is offering support for the education needed to help them grow into managers, directors and executives.

The NGA Foundation, NGA’s philanthropic arm, seeks to position the independent grocery industry as an employer of choice for college students and is committed to supporting students planning careers with this industry. Since 1990, NGA and its affiliates have awarded more than $1 million in scholarships, providing critical resources needed to invest in our future leaders.

NGA’s members continue to recognize the need to support our rising leaders, helping develop a portfolio that now offers 22 scholastic awards. The latest: Buehler’s Fresh Foods of Ohio this year is sponsoring two new scholarships available to college students pursuing a career in the grocery industry. These awards, each worth $1,000, are available to current full-time, part-time or seasonal employees at Buehler’s or their immediate family members.

Buehler’s joins a list of NGA members that have seen fit to invest in the future leadership of our industry. In 2024, that list also includes two legacy scholarships from FMS Solutions, for the children of state and local law enforcement officers; Kimberly-Clark and Mondelēz International legacy scholarships; and the Ronnie Horton Legacy Scholarship, two awards given in memory of the late director of retail operations at Brookshire Grocery Co.

There are also scholarships designed to drive diversity in the grocery industry. Women Grocers of America offers its WGA Scholarship as well as the Mary Macey Scholarship, while Ecolab sponsors a Women in Grocery Scholarship. The Della Noce Family Industry Diversity Scholarship is awarded annually to a female or person of color.

Additionally, the Asparagus Club supports five scholarships, plus the Thomas K. Zaucha Scholarship that honors NGA’s founding president and CEO. The Asparagus Club was founded in 1909 as a group bound by friendship, cooperation and fellowship among independent grocers. The club’s name symbolizes the concept that while one spear of asparagus standing alone would fall, when tied together in a bunch they can stand upright.

That symbolism holds true for today’s NGA. United for a common purpose, independent grocers possess strength in numbers – strength to advocate for our industry as well as to support our emerging leaders for the good of our future.

Interested in joining that bunch? Any individual can fund a legacy scholarship, in their own name or their organization, or to honor an inspiring individual. You can find more information about establishing a scholarship here: https://www.nationalgrocers.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/NGAF_LEGACY_SCHOLARSHIP_FORM_2024.pdf.

Meanwhile, I invite you to spread the word about all the scholarships that are available – the deadline to apply is April 15. Rising college freshmen through graduate students pursuing majors that can lead to careers in grocery can apply at https://webportalapp.com/sp/ngafoundation2024.

More information about all the NGA Foundation scholarships can be found at https://www.nationalgrocers.org/foundation/nga-foundation-scholarships/.

Read more association news at The Shelby Report.

About the author

Greg Ferrara

President and CEO of NGA

Greg Ferrara is the President and CEO of NGA. The National Grocers Association is the trade association representing the U.S. independent community supermarket industry. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers.

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