Wegmans Builds Relationships with Lower Manhattan Community
08/31/2023 · Newsroom Highlight
As we prepare to open our Astor Place location in Manhattan, we’ve sought to create new partnerships to introduce ourselves to the community. Over the last year, our Astor Place store team has met with many local nonprofit organizations and community leaders to learn how we can make a difference in our new neighborhood. In total, we’ve committed nearly $90,000 to the Manhattan community through donations and event sponsorships, as well participated in several volunteer opportunities.
“At Wegmans we are committed to serving our local communities in ways that most impact them,” said Astor Place Store Manager Matt Dailor. “We have had such a good time participating in events and building relationships with many of our neighbors and partners here in Astor Place. We can’t wait to open our doors and continue to work to help address food insecurity, health and wellness.”
We focus our giving on four key areas where we can make the biggest impact: health, education and youth support, economic mobility, and community collaboration. We have worked with the following organizations and programs to help make a difference in Manhattan:
- Food Bank for New York City has been working to end food poverty in the five boroughs since 1983. As the city’s largest hunger-relief organization, they employ a multifaceted approach centered on helping low-income New Yorkers overcome their circumstances and achieve greater independence. We partnered with the Food Bank NYC for our “Choose Love” campaign – donating $1 for every social post that used #MyWegmansAstor during the month of July, raising $10,000.
- Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is a nonprofit organization that aims to be critical link between food excess and the people who need it most. RLC uses a custom web application to crowdsource community members as rescuers to transport nutritious food from food donor partners to nonprofit recipients, feeding people instead of landfills. Since inception in 2013, RLC has expanded to serve nine cities and provided more than eight million meals to food insecure individuals and households from low-income, underserved, and marginalized communities. Our Astor Place store provided delicious hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and a live sushi demonstration by our Astor Place team for the RLC 10 Year Anniversary Gala in May. The team also sponsored RLC’s ‘A Night of Cooking, Noshing, and Drinking’ event and provided Wegmans brand giftbags for their Board of Directors and invited guests.
- The Astor Place team donated $10,000 to City Harvest and set up the Mesh Bag Project where our new hires put together mesh bags for City Harvest during their first week at Wegmans. City Harvest volunteers use these bags to pack fresh produce to be delivered to food pantries and community food programs across NYC. These bags are made by volunteers to help keep costs down, allowing City Harvest to direct more funds to securing nutritious food.
- Is August the team had an opportunity to participate in the Henry Street Career Fair as part of our continued partnership with LESEN. The program aims to match their Summer Work Program participants with local employers to give them long-term work opportunities. The team met a lot of great candidates, collected contact information, and handed out flyers with recruiting information. The Wegmans brand snacks and spatulas the team handed out were also a big hit.
- Our team also joined Dance Parade New York with our very own Wegmans tractor trailer and handed out waters, snacks, and reusable bags to over 150,000 people. Dance Parade promotes dance through the celebration of diversity by presenting as many forms of dance as possible. Dance Parade believe that live performance has the potential to awaken a communal human spirit and helps build a more equitable and vibrant society.
- Several Astor Place team members, dressed in fruit and vegetable costumes, hosted our Love Your Veggies Program at Battery Park City School in Manhattan. This free program allows our employees and culinary experts to visit schools and educate students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade on what it means to lead a healthy lifestyle. These 30-minute sessions include a healthy snack demonstration, goody bags with healthy snack options from our store, and an Eat Well, Live Well pledge to share healthy eating commitments throughout the year. Our team is excited to bring the program to other schools in the area this school year to help children live healthier, better lives through exceptional food.
- In June the store team gave a $1,000 high school scholarship to one senior in each of three local high schools – Harvey Milk High School, High School of Hospitality Management, and Food and Finance High School. This is a nod to our employee scholarships that support hundreds of employees each year.
- The team handed out water and reusable bags to community members who attended The Community Cookout & The Soapbox Presents at The Village Alliance Astor Alive event in July. The event, hosted by Village Alliance and Joe’s Pub, provides an opportunity for the community to come together to enjoy live music and dance. They also helped celebrated the return of the Astor Place Cube, an iconic NYC sculpture near our Astor Place store.
- In May the Food Education Fund asked our Astor Place team to present for the students at the Food & Finance High School. Several of our chefs provided a hands-on demonstration about sushi and different sushi rolls, allowing students to roll their own sushi. The team also did a culinary presentation to educate students on the different culinary programs and career opportunities Wegmans offers.
The Astor Place team is looking forward to expanding on the connections they have already made while continuing to build and strengthen relationships within the community.
Wegmans Astor Place opens at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, October 18. For more information about the new store, visit our website at https://www.wegmans.com/Astor-Place-NYC/.