Lakewood, CO—In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Natural Grocers has established The Natural Grocers Heroes in Aprons Fund, bringing the company’s charitable efforts under one umbrella. According to a press release, Heroes in Aprons provides short-term financial assistance to Natural Grocers’ good4uSM crew members who experience unanticipated hardships.
“Our good4u Crew and communities are the backbone of this company and supporting their health and wellbeing goes beyond free nutrition education and affordable, nutritious groceries,” said Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers Chairman and Co-President, in the release. “Along with our customers, we have always been active supporters of our good4u Crew and causes that sustain the flourishing of our communities. We are proud to officially launch Heroes in Aprons to further our continued charitable efforts.”
Another focus of Heroes in Aprons: to direct grants to Natural Grocers’ charity partners in the community. Natural Grocers’ shared that charitable giving has been a company mainstay since its inception in 1955. In those early days, Co-founder Margaret Isely kept a community food cabinet at the first store and would give families in need ingredients for a nutritious meal. The efforts grew from there. Natural Grocers reports that it has developed partnerships with various charities that work to better the lives of the communities in the 20 states the company serves, with work being done to fight food insecurity, foster sustainability and protect the planet, provide relief to communities impacted by natural disasters, civil rights advocacy, and scholarship endowments for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Heroes in Aprons, which is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, will rely primarily on corporate donations from Natural Grocers and individual donations from Crew members. According to the release, funds will be collected throughout the year from sales-based giveback programs and company initiatives centered on current events and community needs.
Up first for the new nonprofit: During Natural Grocers 66th-anniversary celebration, on Saturday, August 12, 1% of all sales will be donated to the charity, with a goal of providing short-term financial assistance to Crew members or their immediate family members facing severe economic hardship due to sickness, natural disasters, or other unforeseen circumstances.