Third Annual Charity Golf Classic Benefits Share Our Strength
Independent Retail Grocers are the backbone of many local communities.
Civic involvement, charitable giving and support of community activities make up the very essence of who independents are. For generations, many local food stores have been the center of activity and even a gathering place where friends and neighbors meet. As a cooperative of Independent Retail Grocers, AG New England shares this same sense of neighborly spirit and belief in the importance of giving back to the communities in which we do business.
This belief guides two components within our operations...
Neighbor 2 Neighbor and Community Connection
In today's difficult economy, non-profits, charities, and community groups are working harder and harder to raise the funds needed to fulfill their missions. Independent Retail Grocers play an important role by getting involved at the grassroots level, as this offers direct payback in building community appreciation and defining a retailer's identity.
The Shop Local movement is gathering momentum. Yet most consumers are unaware that the money they spend shopping at most big chain stores doesn't stay in their community, but instead moves across the country or overseas. And while some chains make a point of advertising what they do for charities, the local Independent Retailer often remains a silent contributor, reaching out to the neighborhood and making a difference with little or no fanfare.
Independent Retailers are more committed to the area they serve. In many cases, the stores have been passed down from generation to generation of the same family. It only makes sense that local people care about and are more dedicated to their community.
Associated Grocers of New England's Neighbor 2 Neighbor program allows stores to double a charitable donation by building a fund through the purchase Shurfine Brand products. In this unique way, a store can show its customers how the money they spend, in their local market, stays in and benefits the community. It is also an effective merchandising tool to encourage customers to sample and buy Shurfine Brand product knowing it will help fund local interests.
The Neighbor 2 Neighbor program is easy for stores to utilize and promote. The paperwork is simple and the follow-through comes from the Distribution Center. Once a store sends in the required donation request form and back-up documents, we take care of the rest.
Meanwhile, back at the Distribution Center, AG New England employees are also encouraged to give back to their community. Community Connection is the cooperative's employee-backed, charitable-giving program. Community Connection is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of people in our towns and neighborhoods and gives away 100% of all contributions donated by AG New England and its employees. No funds raised are eaten up by administrative or management expenses.
Community Connection is dedicated to the charitable organizations with the greatest need in the greater Concord and Manchester, New Hampshire, areas.
So far in 2011, Community Connection has contributed to:
Back in the Saddle
Blessed Sacrament Parish
Capital Region Food Program
Care Net Pregnancy Center
Child Health Services
Concord Boys and Girls Club
Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association
Families in Transition
Friends of Forgotten Children
Granite State Independent Living
Newport Special Olympics
Wolfeboro Starting Point