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.

 


Click here to hear Garry Stevens, VP of Merchandising & Marketing, share his story about why pride month is meaningful to him and what it means to be an ally.

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?

On June 28, 1969, New York City Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gathering place for the LGBTQ+ community. They arrested employees and patrons of the bar while pedestrians watched; riots ensued in response, lasting about five days.

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. 

 

How is the LGBTQ+ community struggling today?

There’s still work to be done when it comes to raising awareness and advocating for LGBTQ+ issues. Housing and employment discrimination still persists, and there are hurdles to overcome in public and at the workplace.

  • 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:

 

Spotlight on LGBTQ+ Pioneers

 

More Resources

There are many places where you can learn more about Pride Month and ongoing events: 

 

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.

Thank you, and Happy Pride Month!

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.

Here’s to wishing you a fabulous Mother’s Day!

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! 

The one pager (shown below) is available in all Village breakrooms on Thursday, make sure to take one home! If you need a copy to print at home, click here.

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!

Why get the kids involved?

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:

 

  1. 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!

 

  1. Lettuce: They can help dry the lettuce with paper towels and use their fingers to shred it for a salad.

 

  1. 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!

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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

VillageNutritionTeam@wakefern.com to get more information or book a consultation with one of our dietitians.

 

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!

 

Our young adults have faced a lot this year, as 2020 is a year for the history books. They’ve braved a novel global pandemic as well as unrest over long-standing societal issues in our country. The world will remember 2020 for its trials, but for our grads, it also marks the next step of their journey. They may have their traditional school ceremonies disrupted by the pandemic, but they deserve to be recognized for their achievements just as students from any other year would be — which is why we wanted to do something extra this year to recognize our graduates!

On Friday, 6/12, each store had its own customized ceremonial weekend:

  • Our grads were encouraged to wear their caps and gowns (with everyone else welcome to wear their school shirts or colors)
  • Each graduate received a celebratory “diploma” and a voucher for a small cake from our bakery department
  • Each store had their grads’ names read aloud on Village Radio with “Pomp & Circumstance” playing for that traditional graduation feel

The Sumas Family wanted to show their heartfelt appreciation for our students who faced unique challenges this year, so they created a video just for them:

Our Village family couldn’t be more proud of the work that these essential heroes have done for their family, friends, and neighbors throughout the past several months, and they deserved to be honored as they take their next steps into adulthood. We’re happy to do what we can to show these grads how we feel about them!

 

As we return to our “new” normal and celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, we’re reminded that our families are the most important of all during these uncertain times. Village is so proud of the dads who serve as essential grocery workers supporting our communities, and we’re providing a free donut this Saturday and Sunday to all our dads as a special treat. Additionally, all dads working on Sunday, 6/21 will receive a $10 gift card from the Sumas family as a show of thanks for taking the time to work on your special day!

We’ve asked you to submit photos for our video collage and you delivered in spades… Please take a moment to watch this message from Perry Blatt:

This weekend, we should think not only about our own families, but also of those in our towns and cities; the best way to show consideration is by practicing the safety guidelines recommended by the CDC when we’re out and about:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Maintain six feet of social distance whenever possible
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when around others
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms and take action

As essential workers, you are all experts in your community about COVID safety and you should take it upon yourself to be diligent with these measures and teach others. You can find additional CDC recommendations here to learn about strategies for protecting yourself when you leave your house.

Thank you everyone, and enjoy a wonderful Father’s Day!