Food Lion announced Monday that it has selected several longstanding community partners to receive additional funding to support their work to address racial equality and justice.
“At Food Lion, our value of care is at the center of everything we do, from how we run our business to how we engage with associates and customers to how we nourish our communities,” said Meg Ham, president of Food Lion. “Because we believe there is no place for systemic racism in our world, we are committed to doing our part to support racial equality inside our organization and inside our communities. We are holding ourselves accountable for making lasting change, and together with our community partners, we are hopeful that we can create a better future for all,” Ham added.
All funding will be earmarked for initiatives that support equality and social justice including scholarships and internships for Black and African-American students, education and social engagement in the Black and African-American community, Census participation and voter registration, development of diverse suppliers, education for children on civil rights, police community relations, and virtual town halls and community engagement series.
These funds augment the more than $1 million annually that Food Lion already directs to community partnerships supporting racial equality.
Multiple chapters of some of the following organizations will be supported by Food Lion’s funding:
- 100 Black Men of America
- Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Councils
- International Civil Rights Center & Museum
- NC Institute of Minority Economic Development
- The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Urban League of Central Carolinas
The funding supports partnerships that Food Lion has had in place with these organizations, in some cases, for more than three decades.
“Our partnership with Food Lion is built on a shared vision of a fair world, free of racial discrimination and injustice. With this generous gift from Food Lion, the Virginia State Conference NAACP will continue to expand its efforts with regard to civic engagement, voter registration and criminal justice reforms. Further, we will be able to use these resources to enhance the work of our Youth and College Division to ensure the readiness of the next generation of leaders,” said Robert Barnette, president of the Virginia State Conference NAACP.
Food Lion is also committed to addressing these issues within the company. Since June, Food Lion leaders and associates have had multiple conversations across the company about racial disparities – ranging from small group discussions to larger group Courageous Conversations hosted by Food Lion’s Business Resource Groups to promote dialogue and a greater understanding around race relations in America.
As part of its internal commitment, Food Lion has set aside funding to enhance new hire onboarding and orientation and promote ongoing learning and development in the areas of racial equity and social justice for its associates.
Food Lion’s community investment is part of the $5 million commitment announced by its parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, to work toward racial equality. This commitment is in addition to the many other diversity and inclusion efforts underway.