Making a Difference: 2021 Giving

While the pandemic continued to tax our communities in 2021, we also saw some return to normalcy. Our stores and employees proudly partnered with hundreds of organizations throughout our market areas so they could provide essential services to those in need. We also supported the return of community celebrations, in-person races, and annual events as vaccinations became widely available and people began gathering together again. Through corporate gifts, weekly employee United Way donations, and our annual customer scanning campaigns, together we contributed more than $72 million* last year to our communities:

2021 Annual Giving Results

  • Hunger Relief – 26,823,449 million pounds of food donated to those in need.
  • Customer Giving – $4,278,699 donated by customers to help feed and support their neighbors.
  • Education – $5,177,641 awarded to 2,502 employees in tuition assistance.
  • United Way – $7,595,367 donated to United Way by employees and the company.
  • Community-Wide Donations and Events – $8,281,322 donated to enrich the communities where we live and work.
Food & Friends Thanksgiving Day event
Volunteers package dinners for clients with life-challenging illnesses at the Food & Friends Thanksgiving Day event.

Feeding the Hungry
Our 45 partner food banks serve as the main source of nourishment for dozens of families each week. These organizations receive donations from our stores daily, including not-quite-perfect perishable and non-perishable products, funds from customer scanning campaigns and more. Below are a few examples of how our food bank partners put those donations to use:

  • Since 2017, we’ve partnered with Food & Friends, a Washington, D.C. based organization that prepares and delivers nutritionally tailored meals to people living with life-challenging illnesses. Last year, we provided $25,000 for their annual Thanksgiving Day event which assembled over 800 Thanksgiving meals to support not only their clients who are suffering from life-challenging illnesses, but also their caretakers and dependents. 37% of their clients have cancer, 17% have HIV/AIDS, 12% are mothers with high-risk pregnancies, and 11% have diabetes. Altogether, these meals served over 4,000 people.
  • Our annual checkout scanning campaigns raise millions of dollars each year for our food bank and United Way partners. After opening two new stores in North Carolina in early 2021, our four locations in the state raised over $78,000 for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. In operation for over 40 years, the food bank fights hunger in 34 counties in the state and provided over 115 million meals to families and individuals last year alone.
  • Community Harvest Project in Grafton, Massachusetts grows, harvests, and donates hundreds of thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables each year to help end hunger in their community. In 2021, our Northborough store contributed $10,000 to their volunteer farming program. This donation provided over 215,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to over 400,000 food insecure people through 22 partner agencies. Since 2016, more than 700 Wegmans employees have volunteered with Community Harvest Project, both at their farm assisting with growing and harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables, and at community events held by the organization.

Enriching Neighborhoods
Being a good neighbor in the communities where our employees and customers live is a top priority at Wegmans. As local events returned in 2021, our stores once again connected with their local neighborhoods through donations for community festivals, races, and holiday activities. From town celebrations, to disaster relief, to contributing to our 36 local United Way chapters, we fulfilled 12,504 donation requests in 2021. Here are two examples:

  • In June, our New Jersey division supported the Inaugural Juneteenth Freedom Day Ride and Celebration. Our donation included box lunches for volunteers, snacks for over 200 riders, 7,000 units of hand sanitizer, and $10,000 toward other expenses. The weekend long event celebrated the history, culture, and advancements of Black Americans and included the freedom bike ride, a gospel celebration, children’s literacy program, and more. The events were particularly special as 2021 was the first time Freedom Day was recognized as a national and state holiday.
  • Flash flooding in Steuben County destroyed homes, businesses, and made roads unnavigable in August 2021. While government assistance helped to rebuild roads, bridges, and other municipal assets, more than 350 homeowners were left to pick up the pieces on their own. Our Corning store teamed up with the United Way of the Southern Tier and other businesses in the area to support impacted individuals, including setting up triage centers to get homeowners the help they needed, and creating special appliance packages to replace destroyed HVAC units. In addition, the store provided $40,000 toward disaster relief and donated Christmas dinners to families whose homes were damaged by the storm.
A simulated Wegmans Market and café for kids opened at the Play Space by ABC Cayuga in August 2021.

Youth & Family
As a family company, we’re dedicated to helping families grow healthy and strong through our partnerships with children’s museums, youth sports sponsorships, and more. Below are a few examples of how we helped our youngest neighbors get a healthy start in 2021:

  • Our partnership with Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia dates back to 2012. The program teaches life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games to girls in third through eighth grade and culminates with a celebratory 5K running event. Each year, we provide finish–line hospitality for four 5k events, additional items for fundraising events, and a cash contribution. Last year, we provided $30,000 to the organization, and since our relationship began, we’ve donated over $138,000. Our support helped the Northern Virginia chapter to serve 1,800 girls in 2021.
  • The Play Space by ABC Cayuga opened its doors in 2017 with a mission to provide a safe, clean space outside the home where young children could play and explore, as well as meet new friends. Located in Auburn, New York, the Play Space moved to an expanded, updated facility in August 2021 that provides more play opportunities for infants and toddlers. Our Syracuse division committed to provide $75,000 over three years to the Play Space to assist with renovations and to build a simulated Wegmans Market and café for kids to enjoy. In addition, our Auburn store partners with the Play Space to provide nutritional snacks for children on specified days.
  • Community playgrounds not only offer free activities for kids and families, but they also help children to grow their confidence, self-esteem, creativity, and imagination. In 2021, we provided over $50,000 to build or renovate several new and existing playgrounds. Adventure Towers Playground is a 7,400-square-foot inclusive playground that opened last summer at Parma Town Park in New York. The site features wheelchair accessible rubber surfacing and has equipment for children of all abilities, so everyone can play together. DocterAdams Community Park in Warrington, Pennsylvania is a re-developed playground envisioned by NFL Running Back Josh Adams who grew up in the area, not far from our store. The project broke ground in July 2021 and when finished, the new space will feature inclusive playground equipment, benches, bleachers, and a pavilion for people to gather.
Janeika Delgado was referred to Wegmans through our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva. Pictured here with mentor Chef Rick Manetta.

We believe that education creates opportunity, so we’re passionate about creating more opportunities for education in our communities. From increasing our investment in the Wegmans Employee Scholarship program, to partnering with organizations that put a caring adult in a child’s life to help them succeed in school and life, here are some stories of how we supported education last year:

  • Since our Wegmans Employee Scholarship Program began in 1984, more than 42,500 Wegmans employees have been awarded scholarships totaling over $130 million. A record number of 2,502 new recipients received employee scholarships in 2021, totaling more than $5.1 million in tuition assistance for the 2021-2022 academic school year. In addition, we announced that beginning in January 2022 we would be increasing the annual award for recipients of the scholarship, nearly doubling the amount employees can receive over four years from $8,800 to $16,000 for full-time employees and from $6,000 to $8,000 for part-time employees.
  • The Boys & Girls Club of Geneva provides programs and services for both young people and adults in the community. In addition to donations toward mentoring, meals for kids, and fundraisers, our Geneva location partners with the Junior Staff program at the local Boys & Girls Club to help teens in the community obtain employment through our store. Junior Staff members participate in career development activities, which develop their interpersonal skills, work ethic and sense of community responsibility. When a Junior Staff member reflects Wegmans values, the director at the Boys & Girls Club recommends them for a position at our store. The Junior Staff member is provided with an interview, and if they are a good fit for an available position, they’re offered a job. In 2021, we hired five employees through this referral process.

“Making a difference is a core value of our company,” said Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Wegmans Food Markets. “Our community giving is very important to all of us at Wegmans and we focus on a few key areas where we believe we can have the most impact; primarily around food, education, health, and overall enrichment. We are proud to partner across our communities to help people live healthier and better lives every day.”

*The approximate average wholesale value of one pound of donated product at the national level is determined to be $1.74, based upon a study performed by Feeding America.