To promote racial equity and social justice in its communities, The Fresh Market is committing $300,000 to organizations dedicated to supporting civil rights.
The Greensboro, North Carolina-based specialty grocer said Friday that the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund will receive a $250,000 donation to aid its efforts in fighting racism and discrimination.
In addition, The Fresh Market has pledged another $50,000 to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. Located in the retailer’s hometown city of Greensboro, the Center honors the nonviolent protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins that helped propel the civil rights movement.
The Fresh Market said its funding comes after the recent killings of three African-Americans—Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, in February; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, in March; and George Floyd in Minneapolis in May—that triggered ongoing demonstrations nationwide calling on local, state and federal government to address racial injustice.
“We are deeply committed to serve and make a difference in our communities to ensure inclusion, empowerment and opportunity for everyone,” Jason Potter (left), president and CEO of The Fresh Market, said in a statement. “The commitment we are making today is just a catalyst to our broader diversity action plan to make The Fresh Market an even better place to work for our team members, a better place to shop for our guests, and a stronger partner in our communities.”
To that end, The Fresh Market plans to conduct “unconscious bias” training for all employees; sharpen its focus on diversity hiring, career progression and mentoring; and enhance the diversity of the company’s supply chain.
The company noted that all employees have a shared responsibility to treat co-workers and customers with dignity, provide a safe and fair working environment, and not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
“We cannot be complacent or silent and must play an active role in our stores and communities to combat racial injustice,” Potter added.
Overall, The Fresh Market operates 159 stores in 22 states across the country.
This piece originally appeared on Supermarket News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more grocery trends and insights.