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Independent Grocers Ready To Celebrate NGA Foundation Awareness Week

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Initiatives like diversity and inclusion, leadership development, technical assistance and support for the industry’s next generation are important to independent grocers but are often eclipsed by the ongoing day-to-day business of feeding their communities.

As the 501(c)3 nonprofit arm of the National Grocers Association, the NGA Foundation supports the future of the independent community grocer through initiatives designed around these pillars.

Because much of the Foundation’s work is behind the scenes, a multiday campaign – NGA Foundation Awareness Week – launching next week aims to call attention to efforts to boost the independent grocery industry through diversity, promotion, leadership development, student programs and technical assistance.

NGA Foundation Awareness Week – running July 15-19, 2024 – focuses on a different pillar of Foundation priorities each day, with targeted content shared though member communications and social media posts.

The content is crafted to highlight the importance of such programs to the future of the independent grocery industry and how member donation support drives program success.

“Support from our membership is essential to these important initiatives designed to help grocers attract and retain top talent, mentor rising leaders, promote grocery as a career, and encourage diversity initiatives to help retailers better reflect the communities they serve,” said Chelsea Matzen, NGA Foundation vice president. “We welcome their continued support and remain dedicated to these goals for the future of our industry.”

Monday, July 15, focuses 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. NGAF diversity programs include the PepsiCo Diversity in Leadership and WGA scholarships, awarded annually to those seeking to attend NGAF’s Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP); and educational webinars, including one on hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Tuesday, July 16, focuses on industry promotion, including support for efforts to attract and retain a talented work force for independent grocers. Communicating the importance of the grocery industry is essential to ensuring retailers have access to qualified candidates to strengthen their business. Initiatives include NGAF’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 the value of these careers.

Wednesday, July 17, zeroes in on student programs, including the annual Student Case Study Competition, as well as NGAF’s extensive scholarship program for college students exploring careers in the grocery industry. Since 2016, more than 100 students have received NGAF scholarships. Donations to NGAF help fund more scholarships to help students continue their education and gain careers in the independent grocery industry; grow the diversity within our student programs; send more students to The NGA Show every year to participate in the case study competition; and create better and more relevant case studies for students to learn about the grocery industry.

Thursday, July 18, looks at leadership development, including the Executive Leadership Development Program, NGAF’s annual conference held at Cornell University. Over the past decade, nearly 500 emerging leaders have graduated from the ELDP. Support for NGAF strengthens programs that retain top industry talent; creates the next generation by investing in their futures now; and builds tomorrow’s leaders through programs like ELDP as well as WGA’s Emerging and Executive Female Leadership share groups.

Friday, July 19, focuses on technical assistance for independent grocers administered by NGAF, including how to offer SNAP online and other nutrition incentive programs. The Foundation works to create an equal opportunity for retailers to gain access to critical programs such as SNAP Online and nutrition incentives; support food access in underserved communities; and champion SNAP choice for customers by incentivizing healthy eating rather than restricting their options.

To see or participate in social media coverage of NGA Foundation Awareness Week, visit https://www.facebook.com/NGAFoundation, https://www.linkedin.com/company/nga-foundation/ and https://x.com/NGA_Foundation; search #NGAFAwarenessWeek.

About the NGA Foundation

The NGA Foundation is the 501(c)3 nonprofit arm of the National Grocers Association. The Foundation provides independent retailers with tools to develop more effective recruiting programs, enhance retention efforts and bolster professional leadership development opportunities for employers. For more information, visit www.ngafoundation.org.

[RELATED: NGA Foundation Wraps Up 2024 ELDP Conference]

About the author

Jim Dudlicek

Director, Communications and External Affairs at NGA

Jim Dudlicek is Managing Editor and Content Strategist at 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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