Reinstituting its community awards program, the Food Marketing Institute is recognizing retailers that involve themselves in their communities.

FMI recognizes retailer community involvementDuring its midwinter executive conference in Phoenix, the Washington, D.C.-based FMI Foundation’s second annual industry leadership dinner presented awards to six retailers, according to a news release.

FMI gave awards to large- and small-format retailers in three categories of youth development programs, initiatives addressing food insecurity and neighborhood health improvements and judged retailers on participation, community need, originality and other criteria.

In the neighborhood health improvement category, FMI named Netherlands-based Ahold NV’s Ahold USA Inc., Carlisle, Pa., as its large store retail winner for its healthy kids summits, which engage families in the produce aisles with nutrition and exercise information.

In the youth development category, Hy-Vee Inc., West Des Moines, Iowa., won in the large-store retailer category for its Get Out and Grow! Campaign that encourages children’s healthier eating by teaching children how to grow and prepare their own fresh produce.

FMI recognizes retailer community involvementIn the small store retailer category, the Lawrence, Kan.-based Merc Community Market & Deli won for its Growing Food, Growing Health campaign that provides student gardeners a farm-to-fork working experience while learning valuable professional skills.

As an award, FMI donated $1,000 to each winning retailer’s program, according to the release.

“Supermarkets provide more than just food to their communities; they are often a cornerstone of service and a hub of activity addressing neighborhood concerns,” Leslie Sarasin, FMI’s president and chief executive officer, said in the release. “The re-instituted Community Outreach Awards recognize the laudable efforts of those food retailers who saw a need and sought creative means of addressing it — enhancing the life of all within the community.”