SpartanNash Foundation launches companywide fundraising effort to support Special Olympics athletes in eight states

Monday, April 30, 2018

Meredith Gremel
Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, SpartanNash
Executive Director, SpartanNash Foundation


SpartanNash Foundation launches companywide fundraising effort to support Special Olympics athletes in eight states

SpartanNash, Foundation have donated nearly $9.1 million, thousands of volunteer hours to Special Olympics during 34-year partnership

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The SpartanNash Foundation is launching its second companywide retail fundraising campaign in 2018, supporting Special Olympics athletes and State Summer Games in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. SpartanNash and its charitable giving arm, the SpartanNash Foundation, invite store guests to join them in supporting Special Olympics through the retail scan campaign, which runs May 2-13.

During the 12-day scan, store guests who visit any participating SpartanNash-owned retail store or fuel center in eight states will have the opportunity to donate $1, $5 or $10 at any checkout lane.

One hundred percent of donations raised will benefit the local Special Olympics’ affiliate programs in the communities where the funds are raised. SpartanNash underwrites the costs to run the scan campaign, contributes funding and encourages associates to volunteer with local Special Olympics affiliates.

For a complete list of stores participating in the companywide scan campaign and the eight Special Olympics affiliates they will support, visit

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

“SpartanNash and the SpartanNash Foundation are deeply committed to supporting Special Olympics throughout the many states we serve,” said Meredith Gremel, vice president of corporate affairs and communications and the executive director of the SpartanNash Foundation. “Through our retail scan campaigns, we have developed many strong partnerships with Special Olympics affiliates, and, in partnership with our store guests and associates, we are excited to continue to support them and raise funds for this great cause.

“We also recognize the importance of raising awareness and advancing diversity and inclusion. We do so by hiring a number of Special Olympics athletes and placing a photo of a Special Olympics Healthy Athlete on 300,000 cases of water, so our thousands of store guests learn more about the phenomenal Special Olympics opportunities available year round.”

SpartanNash Healthy Athletes

In conjunction with the retail scan campaign, SpartanNash also selects Special Olympics Healthy Athletes, whose healthy lifestyles and involvement in the Special Olympics embody the organization’s oath: Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

For 2018, SpartanNash is recognizing Healthy Athletes in Michigan and Minnesota. These athletes will also help promote the Foundation’s retail scan with in-store autograph sessions – and they will be featured on the packaging of bottles of Our Family® brand water. Nearly 300,000 cases of the specially designed 24-pack bottles of spring water will be on store shelves at more than 140 SpartanNash-owned stores and independent retail locations throughout the country.

SpartanNash began the Healthy Athlete program in Michigan in 2008, expanding the program in 2016 to include athletes throughout its retail footprint.

In Michigan, the Healthy Athlete is Kayla Cornell. Kayla has competed in Special Olympics since seventh grade, participating in gymnastics, alpine skiing, volleyball, swimming, track and field, poly hockey and softball. Kayla is a graduate of Rockford High School and plans to attend Grand Rapids Community College. She is a manager at a local retail store, and as the SpartanNash Healthy Athlete of the Year, Kayla lives a healthy lifestyle by avoiding pop.

In Minnesota, the Healthy Athlete is Devin Johnson. Known for his positive attitude and work ethic, Devin competes in bowling, basketball and other athletics. He can usually be seen riding his bike with his family and trains at a local health club with a personal trainer several days a week. At Special Olympics competitions, Devin is also a supportive teammate and a great model for good sportsmanship, making him a great fit as the SpartanNash Healthy Athlete of the Year.

Details on their in-store autograph sessions are available at

Partnership with Special Olympics

SpartanNash has been the Presenting Sponsor of the Special Olympics Michigan Summer Games since 1985. The company has also supported Special Olympics Minnesota Summer Games since 2003.

In addition to nearly $9.1 million in financial support over the course of the 34-year partnership, SpartanNash associates and their families have also volunteered thousands of hours helping at the State Summer Games.

In Michigan, SpartanNash associates also prepare and feed hundreds of volunteers throughout the State Summer Games. SpartanNash donates all of the food for the volunteers and prints the State Summer Games programs and handbooks as well.


About the SpartanNash Foundation
The SpartanNash Foundation was formed in 2013 following the merger of the Nash Finch Company and Spartan Stores. It represents the best of the NFC Foundation and the Spartan Stores Foundation. The SpartanNash Foundation is the charitable giving arm of SpartanNash and is focused on providing grants to nonprofit community partners who are working to end hunger, secure shelter and support our military heroes. To learn more about the SpartanNash Foundation, visit 

About SpartanNash
SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) is a Fortune 350 company whose core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent grocery retailers, national accounts, its corporate-owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges. SpartanNash serves customer locations in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Italy, Bahrain, Djibouti and Egypt. SpartanNash currently operates 142 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery, Dan’s Supermarket and Family Fresh Market. Through its MDV military division, SpartanNash is a leading distributor of grocery products to U.S. military commissaries.