Building Healthier, Better Communities through Sports Partnerships

For decades, sports teams at all levels have been bringing communities together. From recreation leagues to professional teams, sporting events generate excitement and create a social bond amongst strangers. They also promote physical activity and healthy habits, which is why we’ve partnered with so many youth sports and minor league organizations for so long.

Over the past year, we’ve expanded our sports partnership program by adding professional and college teams who share our same goal: to build healthier, better communities. Partnering with teams like the Buffalo Bills, Syracuse University, and University of North Carolina allows us to maximize our initiatives, engaging with both our customer base and the loyal fanbase of these sports teams. Our partnerships with these teams are all built on the same foundation – working together to make a difference in our communities and educating our customers and fans on health and wellbeing.

One way we’re teaming up to make a positive impact in our communities is through our Pack the Pantry initiative. We first partnered with NC State, encouraging our North Carolina shoppers to purchase and donate products to the college’s food pantry for students in need. For two weeks in May, we did a similar initiative with the Buffalo Bills, but with a focus on donating allergen friendly food to our local food banks. Customers at our Rochester and Buffalo area stores had the opportunity to purchase and donate food items free from any of the top eight allergens in order to give food insecure people who suffer from food allergies access to safe food.

“For those experiencing food insecurity, it can be challenging to find allergen free foods at their local food pantries,” said Buffalo Division Manager Patty Kaminski. “Together, we provided more than 20,000 pounds of food to those who need it most. Thank you to the Buffalo Bills and our two local food banks, FeedMore WNY and Foodlink, for your partnership on this important community initiative.”

Another aspect of these partnerships is nutrition education. Our goal is to assist both our customers and student athletes in fueling their body before, during, and after activity. One way we’re accomplishing this is by working with Syracuse University and Boston College to stock their athletic facility grab-and-go stations with wholesome and nutritious foods that are convenient for their athletes during practice, games, and training.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with schools’ whose mission is to set their athletes up for lifelong health and activity,” said Wegmans Corporate Nutrition Manager Trish Kazacos, RDN. “We help make it easy by providing delicious foods with complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein that can be enjoyed on-the-go to support pre- and post-workout nutritional needs.”