Supermarket chains these days are addressing many social issues — including food insecurity, neighborhood health needs and youth development — and FMI-The Food Industry Association is recognizing grocers for their efforts.

FMI has recognized eight programs sponsored by six grocery retailers — Giant Food, Stop & Shop, Hy-Vee, The Giant Company, Schnuck Markets and Northgate Gonzalez Market — with Community Uplift Awards. The awards are designed to spotlight supermarkets’ integral role in the community and honor the creative efforts of those that support, engage and nourish the neighborhoods they serve.

“Beyond their day-to-day operations, grocers actively support, elevate and inspire their local communities,” FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said in a statement. “The altruistic and innovative contributions of this year’s winners provide clear examples of our members’ unwavering commitment to nourish those in need, empower the next generation and maximize the wellness of their people.”

FMI Community Uplift Award categories include programs for food insecurity (e.g. food drives, food bank donations, commitments to facilitate access to fresh food in underserved areas), neighborhood health improvement (e.g. nutrition education, blood drives, health-related runs/walks, sustainability education and community involvement) and youth development (e.g. education, employment, job readiness, mentoring/tutoring).

Stop and Shop was recognized in both the food insecurity and neighborhood health improvement categories.

Food Insecurity: “School Food Pantry Program” and “Strike Out School Hunger”. The pantry program provides gift cards and product donations to 130 school food pantries across the Northeast. To date, Stop & Shop has donated more than $1 million to the program, which in many cases feeds entire families living in shelters or battling homelessness. In the Strike Out School Hunger project, every time a Boston Red Sox player strikes out, Stop & Shop donates 10,000 meals to support the pantries, for about 10 million meals annually.

Neighborhood Health Improvement: The “Nutrition Partners Dietitian Program” nourishes communities through wellness education, as Stop & Shop registered dietitians conduct store tours, one-on-one consultations, cooking demonstrations, educational webinars and free classes. They have reached over 3,000 community members through webinars and consultations while expanding free resources online.

The original article can be found at Supermarket News.