Scholarships awarded to student leaders making a difference in their communities while expanding the opportunity for community engagement among local grocery stores
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Dec. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Food solutions company SpartanNash (the "Company") (Nasdaq: SPTN) today announced the 2023 winners for its inaugural Our Family® 2023 Scholarship Program, supporting students making a positive difference in their communities. Developed in 1904, Our Family is the flagship private brand distributed exclusively by SpartanNash. Through this program, the Company is extending the opportunity for grocery shoppers at independent retailers and Company-operated stores to apply for academic scholarships for post-secondary education.
"As a Company rooted in the neighborhoods we serve through our own retail stores and the independent retailers we supply, we are proud to recognize these student leaders who are championing change on a local level," said SpartanNash Executive Vice President and newly named Chief Customer Officer Amy McClellan. "These individuals have demonstrated a commitment to serving the communities we love, helping make them better places to live, play and grow. Their stories inspire us, and we look forward to seeing how their leadership skills continue to grow with the support of these financial scholarships."
Introduced in April 2023, the Our Family® 2023 Scholarship Program invited students who live in the same states served by SpartanNash-distributed grocery stores to apply for a $2,000 scholarship. Winners were chosen based on multiple short essays showcasing community engagement through extracurricular activities, charity work and other good deeds. Scholarships may be used toward higher education, including two- and four-year universities, trade schools or secondary education programs.
Highlights from some of the 2023 winners include:
- Carson Downer (Grand Rapids, Mich.): Downer supported a local nonprofit organization focused on building children's literacy in underserved areas. He also partnered with the National Honor Society to feed those in need. To keep the local community informed, Downer started the Pegasi News Network, a student-run weekly video journalism club.
- Danniel Mubbala (Harrisburg, Pa.): After volunteering at a local food bank during high school, Mubbala was inspired to continue serving others, which led her to start the Harrisburg Girls Empowerment Club. Through this club, she serves her community in many ways, from baking treats for a retirement center to making cards for sexual assault survivors.
- Graecin Beachy (Bristol, Ind.): Beachy started a food drive for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana at the local Boys and Girls Club. Through this work, he educated members on the importance of hunger prevention and how the community can get involved via volunteering.
- Jonathan He (Virginia Beach, Va.): He spent time in high school serving on the National Honor Society and participating in local service projects. To help engage young children in their learning, he has been volunteering at a cybersecurity camp since seventh grade and served as a volunteer at the local Veterans Affairs Hospital by helping senior citizens learn how to use technology and lower their security issues.
- Matthew Holler (Rapid City, S.D.): Holler volunteers at his church by playing music for the services. He has also been involved with various student organizations to support his community through activities such as food drives.
- Mehar Bhasin (New Rochelle, N.Y.): Bhasin is a regular volunteer for the Earth Saviors Foundation, which serves abandoned seniors and residents with intellectual disabilities. She also co-founded STEAM Bloom, a program encouraging the exploration of computer science among women, minorities and students from underrepresented communities.
- Sierra Brzezinski (Traverse City, Mich.): Brzezinski has supported more than 35 organizations in her time volunteering. Notable efforts include being a member of "Key Club" in high school, where she volunteered with global and local organizations, and participating in volunteer opportunities through the National Honor Society.
- Sophia Mignery (Hamilton, Ohio): Mignery volunteers in her local community by serving at Hopefull Pastures, a children's therapy farm. She has also spent time volunteering at many 4-H events along with acting as a mentor for the fair's Animal and Me program, which gives individuals with disabilities the opportunity to show animals. Mignery organized a fundraising event to provide 160 duffle bags filled with items for children entering foster care and created special Mother's Day bags for foster moms to thank them for their selflessness.
"Communities coming together is vital to helping set up our next generation for success," said independent grocery store owner and Our Family retailer Jason Nilssen of Nilssen's Foods. "We are thrilled to celebrate these amazing student leaders who are working hard to serve their neighbors in meaningful ways."
For more information about the Our Family Scholarship, including additional application criteria, please visit www.ourfamilyfoods.com/scholarships.
SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) is a food solutions company that delivers the ingredients for a better life. Committed to fostering a People First culture, the SpartanNash family of Associates is 17,500 and growing. SpartanNash operates two complementary business segments - food wholesale and grocery retail. Its global supply chain network serves wholesale customers that include independent and chain grocers, national retail brands, e-commerce platforms, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges. The Company distributes products for every aisle in the grocery store, from fresh produce to household goods to its OwnBrands, which include the Our Family® portfolio of products. On the retail side, SpartanNash operates 145 brick-and-mortar grocery stores, primarily under the banners of Family Fare, Martin's Super Markets and D&W Fresh Market, in addition to dozens of pharmacies and fuel centers. Leveraging insights and solutions across its segments, SpartanNash offers a full suite of support services for independent grocers. For more information, visit spartannash.com.
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