Nick and Perry Sumas founded Village Super Market, Inc. in 1937. They were brothers and Greek immigrants who came to the United States in search of the “American Dream.” Neither had a formal education, but they both believed that with diligence and determination came opportunities that could only be found in this country. They cared deeply about their associates. They were proud that they were able to provide steady work for so many people, and an opportunity for the next generation to obtain a formal education as a result. In honor of these two men, the following generations of the Sumas family want to expand the opportunity for scholarship funds to more people across the company.
This year we will be awarding up to $50,000 in scholarships for undergraduate education. Once eligibility criteria is met:
There will be one $1,000 scholarship recipient from each of our thirty-seven stores, plus one from the Perishable Distribution Center, one from the MFC, and one from our corporate office team.
In addition, this year we will offer TWO $5,000 scholarships to Village Associates who demonstrate our purpose of Helping Families Live Better both in our stores and in their communities.
No separate application is required for the additional $5,000 scholarships.
All recipients must reapply each year.
Current full or part-time employees (union or non-union) OR children or grandchildren of current employees of Village Super Market who have been employed for at least six months at the time of application.
High school seniors entering college next year or current college students.*
*The scholarship may be used at any accredited college, university or professional school in the United States.
Village Associates are eligible for selection scholarships offered by the NJ Food Council! You can download applications and e-mail the completed form with the essay and letter of recommendation to email@example.com or mail them to New Jersey Food Council, 429 Riverview Plaza, Trenton, NJ, 08611. All applications must be postmarked by April 18, 2022.
Here are the NJFC opportunities our Associates can apply for:
1. Founders Scholarship Award – One award of $5,000 to one employee in a food related member business or future industry leader.
2. Thomas Infusino Scholarship Award – One award of $5,000 to one employee in a retail member business.
3. Student Award – One award of $5,000 to a graduating high school senior or college student who is a family member of a full time employee of a member company, NJFC employee or part-time student employee of a member company.
4. NJFC Scholarship Award – Four (4) awards of $2,500 each to a graduating high school senior or college student who is working for a member company and who is pursuing food policy, government affairs or a food industry related career, or an NJFC employee.
Winners of awards may reapply each year if they continue to be employed by firms that are members or staff of NJFC. An average grade of B or better must be attained and confirmed.
Awards will be used for tuition at any accredited college, university or professional school in the United States. A scholarship recipient may transfer from one college to another and retain the award.
Additionally, Village Associates are eligible for the Raymond J Maniaci Education Scholarship:
• Those eligible to apply are New Jersey resident students of Saint Joseph’s University who are food marketing majors. Graduate students are not eligible to apply for this scholarship.
• Previous recipients of the Raymond J. Maniaci Education Scholarship Award may not reapply. The Raymond J. Maniaci Education Scholarship Award is in the amount of $8,000.
• An average grade of B or better must be attained and confirmed.
This June, we celebrate our young, resilient team members who are graduating this year. Please join us in congratulating them as they take the next step of their journey.
Our leaders and our fellow team members couldn’t be more proud of the work that these essential heroes have done for their family, friends, and neighbors. If you see these grads in store, wish them well on their continuing education and wish them luck!
Pride Month commemorates the ongoing pursuit of equal justice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community and celebrates the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ individuals. It promotes the self-affirmation, dignity, and increased visibility of LGBTQ+ people as a social group. June 1st marks the beginning of Pride Month, with June 28th specifically marked for Pride Day. This day marks the date in history of the first Pride march held in New York City in 1970.
Village Super Market is committed to providing a safe, inclusive workplace where all Associates and customers feel welcome to visit our stores. It is up to us as individuals to practice empathy and take the steps to move toward a more just society, and all five of our core values fall squarely into our responsibilities here: Act With Integrity, Respect For All, Care Deeply, Challenge Yourself, and Welcome To The Family.
We’re continuing the conversation to celebrate our differences, to better understand each other and keep ourselves open to learning about experiences outside of our own. Although understanding others is the first step in respecting those we work with every day, we don’t have to understand before we accept or love anyone. We must listen to all points of view to foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable enough to be themselves.
This Pride Month, we’re also providing opportunities for you to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community and the purpose of these celebrations. Visit the links below if you want to read more. You can use hashtags like #PrideMonth, #PrideDay, and #LGBTQ to join the conversation on social media!
Pride Day: What were the Stonewall Riots and why are they important?
Gay rights activists proposed the idea of a march in response to the Stonewall events. The first march took place in New York on the anniversary of the Stonewall riots on June 28th, 1970, to celebrate “pride.” It inspired other pride marches across the country in solidarity and gay pride celebrations expanded globally.
Now, LGBTQ+ Pride is a month-long celebration with marches occurring throughout, and has been celebrated for over 50 years! First officially recognized by President Bill Clinton as “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” in 1999, Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump continued to recognize this commemoration but as “LGBTQ+ Pride Month”.
It’s also important to know the history of the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community. People around the world face violence and inequality — and sometimes torture, even execution — because of who they love, how they look, or who they are. This month we are bringing attention to the fact that sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of ourselves, our Associates, and our communities.
The first step we can all take is to understand what’s going on in the LGBTQ+ rights movement. It might be difficult to understand some of the terms used to describe LGBTQ+ individuals. Let’s take a look at some of them now:
What is gender identity?One’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.
Cisgender (sometimes abbreviated cis) is used to describe a person whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth. For example, someone who identifies as a woman and was identified as female at birth is a cisgender woman.
What does it mean to be transgender?Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.
What is a gender transition? The process by which some people strive to more closely align their internal knowledge of gender with its outward appearance. Some people socially transition, whereby they might begin dressing, using names and pronouns and/or be socially recognized as another gender. Others undergo physical transitions in which they modify their bodies through medical interventions.
Non-binary is used to describe people who feel their gender cannot be defined within the margins of gender binary. Instead, they understand their gender in a way that goes beyond simply identifying as either a man or woman. Some non-binary people may feel comfortable within Trans communities and find this is a safe space to be with others who don’t identify as cis, but this isn’t always the case.
How else might non-binary people identify? Because non-binary includes anyone that doesn’t fit the traditional narrative of male or female, non-binary communities are incredibly diverse. Non-binary people may identify as both male and female or neither male nor female. They may feel their gender is fluid, can change and fluctuate or perhaps they permanently don’t identify with one particular gender. The range of language and labels used within non-binary communities’ means that non-binary has become an inclusive umbrella term.
One in four LGBTQ+ employees report experiencing employment discrimination in the last five years
The Transgender unemployment rate is three times higher than the national average
Over one quarter (27%) of transgender people who held or applied for a job in the last year reported being fired, not hired, or denied a promotion due to their gender identity
Nearly 75% of transgender employees take steps to avoid mistreatment in the workplace
Nearly 1 in 10 LGBTQ+ employees report that discrimination negatively affected their work environment
There are no federal protections barring employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, either. State laws vary, and while the states where we operate are more progressive than most…
In 28 states, you can get fired just for being lesbian, bisexual, or gay
In 30 states, you can be fired for being transgender
Transgendered people specifically are facing many barriers to acceptance. 2021 was a record-breaking year for anti-transgender legislation with 33 states introducing bills that aim to curb the rights of transgender people across the country — and many are succeeding. According to the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, at least 117 bills targeting transgender rights are part of the current legislative session, including bathroom bans, youth sport bans, and restrictions on medical care for transgendered individuals.
There are social pressures as well — for many LGBTQ+ Americans, especially for youth, coming out can be a very difficult process, even for those who know they are loved by friends and family. It’s a process of self-understanding, accepting, and valuing your sexual orientation/identity. For some, there may be a sense of being different, and it involves facing societal responses and attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people.
But research shows us that coming out about sexual orientation and gender identity makes a huge difference to LGBTQ+ people’s ability to lead happy, open and fulfilling lives. It’s important that we all do our part in making Village a place where everyone can feel safe to be themselves.
Here are some links if you’re looking to learn more about coming out:
Please join us in celebrating Pride Month as we strive to better understand each other! Your fellow team members at Village make up a diverse workforce that represents a larger America; understanding experiences outside our own is the first step in respecting those we work with every day. We’re here to listen, too — if you’d like someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to contact your HR Partner.
During holidays like these, we’re reminded that our families are the most important of all. Village is dedicated to showing our appreciation for all of the moms who serve as essential grocery workers supporting our communities and help make Village the company that it is today. We have so much admiration for everything you do for us and your families!
We’ve asked Village mothers to submit photos of themselves or other mother figures in their lives. We’ve gotten great responses so far and we’ll continue to feature you on this blog as you send more photos.
Thursday, April 22nd is Bring Your Child To Work Day! While we’d love to host our littlest Village family members at our workplace, we’ve planned a home activity this year with everyone’s safety in mind. We’re excited for you to take this opportunity to spend some time with your children or grandchildren and have them learn a little more about what you get to do for our communities everyday!
Once it’s filled out, parents/grandparents/guardians should return them by Sunday, April 25th and they will be displayed for our customers to see until Sunday, May 2nd.
What kid doesn’t like snacks? After returning the sheet to us, we’ll have a snack for you to take home to them for a delicious reward!
Photos of each store’s “My Essential Hero” displays will be hosted on this blog page in the beginning of May. Tag us in your photos using @villagesupermarket and #villagefamilyvalues to share! We’d love to show off these walls celebrating guardians at work and a reminder that our loved ones at home care about the work that we do.
Thanksgiving is a time for us to show gratitude for our friends, families, and the good fortune in our lives; for Village Super Market, it’s a time for us to show you how grateful we are for your skill, courage, and incredible dedication to keeping our communities nourished and safe.
Throughout 2020, Village Associates have proven time and time again that they are committed to serving our towns and cities. Your hard work and dedication brought a sense of normalcy in uncertain times. Make no mistake — you are the very definition of “essential”, providing critical services in a time of great need!
The Sumas Family created a video so they could express their gratitude and pride for the everyday heroes we call our “Village Family”.
We wish you a safe, happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Eat well, be happy, and stay safe!
Knowing how to involve children in mealtimes is important- not only to avoid unwanted messy situations but also because it provides important life skill development.
You may not have had the best experience in the past with letting your child help with dinner. Perhaps you let 3-year old Luke crack an egg- only to create more work for yourself as you’re cleaning it off the floor- and his face. Knowing what ways to include a child according to their age group and abilities can help prevent these messy accidents while teaching valuable skills. Bonus: Research shows letting children help with meals may help to reduce picky eating!
5 Mess-Free Options to Get Started
Most children 2-3 years old and up are capable of the five options below. Start here and build on these skills as the child gets older and more capable:
Herbs: Have the child help pick herbs off the stem and break them into smaller pieces. For example homemade guacamole – they can help with the cilantro!
Lettuce: They can help dry the lettuce with paper towels and use their fingers to shred it for a salad.
Potatoes/ Avocados: A young child can scoop the flesh of a cooked potato or avocado out of the skin. They can also mash it, but be careful with mashing. If your child is still developing their motor skills, the mashing may get aggressive. A large, deep bowl might help prevent potato pieces from escaping. It’s a great teaching moment to show the child how to hold a bowl while mashing so it doesn’t slip away!
Stirring/Mixing: Children LOVE to stir things. They love to watch the ingredients get mixed together and feel like they have an important job when asked to stir things. For example, a pasta salad, pancake batter, or muffin mix. Just caution with letting young children stir things that may be tough or dry- if it’s too hard to stir, they will get frustrated and food may go flying.
Lemons/Limes: Have them “roll” lemons and limes on the table or counter to release the juice for any recipes using lemon or lime juice. Their goal is to make it easier to get the juice out once the fruit is cut open. Let them decide when the lemon or lime is ready to juice- and then let them watch the juices escape when it’s cut it in half!
Ready to give it a try?
Pick one of the methods above to try first and a recipe that it would work with.
Need more advice for getting your kids in the kitchen? Email our dietitian team at
Each year, we host an awards luncheon to celebrate our stand-out Associates who show passion for their work, dedication to our customers and fellow team members, and live by our core values. This year, we opted to have in-store VSMAs on August 6th – 7th and announce our nominees and award recipients to the whole company through a video.
We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to celebrate our remarkable Associates — especially so in 2020, where essential workers like you became the heroes our communities needed. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding performers!
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything you do for us — you make Village Super Market, Inc. a great place to work and shop each and every day.
Despite 2020 being such an eventful year, let’s not forget that it’s still a shining milestone in the lives of some of our young Associates and their families. It’s the second year of our newly expanded Nick & Perry Sumas Scholarship Fund, and we’re proud to award 22 bright individuals with a $1,000 grant toward their higher education!
Thank you to all the Store Teams who pushed hard to inform our team members of this opportunity. We couldn’t be more proud to contribute to the success of our extended Village family and we look forward to providing more opportunities to next year’s applicants in the Spring of 2021!