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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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

SpartanNash, Foundation have donated nearly $9.4 million, thousands of volunteer hours to Special Olympics during 35-year partnership

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The SpartanNash Foundation invites store guests to join it in supporting more than 10,000 Special Olympics athletes and State Summer Games in eight states through a companywide fundraising effort taking place May 1-12.

During the 12-day scan, store guests who visit any participating SpartanNash-owned retail store or fuel center in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin will have the opportunity to donate $1, $5 or $10 at any checkout lane. One hundred percent of donations will benefit local Special Olympics athletes and State Summer Games. 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 states we serve,” said Meredith Gremel, vice president of corporate affairs and communications and the executive director of the SpartanNash Foundation. “Through our fundraising 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 125,000 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 2019, SpartanNash is recognizing Healthy Athletes in Michigan and Wisconsin. 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. More than 125,000 cases of the specially designed 24-pack bottles of spring water will be on store shelves at more than 155 SpartanNash-owned stores, as well as 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 Meagan Barker. Meagan has been involved with Special Olympics for seven years, participating in bowling, power lifting and track and field in addition to encouraging her fellow athletes to be health and stay positive. Meagan lives in Kalamazoo, Mich. and has lost 60 pounds by researching calories before she eats, utilizing her school staff to make healthy choices at lunch and regularly running 5Ks while training to compete.

In Wisconsin, the Healthy Athlete is Isaiah Kasay. Isaiah attends St. Croix Central Middle School and lives in Roberts, Wisc., where he also participates in many 5K running events and bikes with his family to stay in shape. Isaiah has been involved with Special Olympics for six years and participates in team basketball and track and field. He’s known for his positive energy and great sportsmanship, all traits of a SpartanNash Healthy Athlete.

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 $9.4 million in financial support over the course of the 35-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 2015 and is the charitable giving arm of SpartanNash. It is focused on providing financial support to nonprofit partners who align with its mission to end hunger, provide shelter and support our military heroes. With a combined total legacy of more than 100 years, the SpartanNash Foundation represents the best of its predecessors, the NFC Foundation and the Spartan Stores Foundation. The SpartanNash Foundation is a Michigan nonprofit corporation and is tax exempt under IRC 501(c)3. It is a non-operating private foundation. To learn more about the SpartanNash Foundation, visit

About SpartanNash

SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) is a Fortune 400 company whose core businesses include distributing grocery products to a diverse group of independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges; as well as premier fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing. SpartanNash serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain, Djibouti and Egypt. SpartanNash currently operates 158 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, Martin’s Super Markets, 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.