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!

LAST UPDATED: 4/19/21

First, we’d like to thank you for everything you have done over the last year to protect yourselves during the pandemic. Your vigilance in following our safety protocols, wearing masks properly, and staying socially distant is the best way to keep each other safe. Our top priority is always Associate and customer safety as COVID continues to be a challenge for our communities.

Vaccine administration is underway and we’re committed to keeping you updated on how Village is working with our national, state and local leaders to administer vaccines and how it impacts you, and in particular when vaccinations may be available to our Village family.

As of April 19th, everyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

At Village, we spend a great deal of time and effort to give back to our community. It’s just one of the ways we try to live our purpose every day — to care deeply about people, helping them to eat well and be happy. Jimmy would have been proud of the effort you put in to support the food banks in our areas.

 

 

These pallets of food will be distributed directly to our local Food Bank Partners at the Community Food Bank of NJ, Food Bank for NYC, Feeding Westchester, NORWESCAP, Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley, and Maryland Food Bank. You’ve also raised $17,409 for the National Parkinson’s Foundation in Jimmy’s honor!

Thank you for your effort. Continue to be safe, and happy holidays!

 

On behalf of the Sumas family, we are so proud of this year’s PIC efforts! It has been a tough year, one filled with challenges across the board. The fact that our associates and customers were able to raise nearly $200,000 to fight hunger in our local communities is something to truly be proud of. In a year when people need our help the most our store teams stepped up and delivered. We couldn’t be anymore proud or in awe of this accomplishment in such a trying year. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Perry Blatt

We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank all our stores for doing everything they could to make Partners In Caring a success. 2020 has been a crazy year in all possible ways, and our teams managed to get past the hurdles and bring in the donations!

You’ve all performed admirably; in a year with modified contest conditions due to the pandemic, we were surprised to see that you raised almost as much money as in 2019. We are a company that cares about the communities in which we operate, and individually, our team members have a real impact on feeding families who may otherwise go without food.

Village Super Market, Inc. has raised enough to provide 594,711 meals to those in need.

This is no trifling figure; each year, our teams play a huge role in preventing families in our neighborhoods from going hungry.

Our teams were obviously motivated to increase their totals in the final stretch of the program; in the last couple days of fundraising, you raised an astounding $33,000, which is 17% of our total funds raised! Team Hillsborough continues their winning streak from 2019, achieving the top rank in our fundraising contest in 2020. You guys are a model for engagement and community spirit — way to go, team! In the final days of the program, these motivated Associates surpass every expectation and went for gold.

 

We’re also the top player across the entire co-op, and we’ll share those figures when they are ready. However, in order for any of this to count, you must submit your PowerPoints to Wakefern by 5 PM on Friday, 10/9. Don’t miss your chance to be on the box by making a clerical error!

We can’t thank our teams enough for participating in Partners In Caring every year; it’s one of the biggest tools we have in our fight against hunger, and you meal real, tangible differences for the people who live in our towns and cities. Start saving up your ideas for next year’s program so you can get the edge on your competition!

THANK YOU, VILLAGE!

Take a look at the events that your fellow team members have held this year and the vibrant displays they put together! Other Wakefern members could learn a thing or two from these creative individuals:

Village has always been proud of our legacy of being a family-operated business running on family values. We care about how our Associates feel about their work, not only because they’re the heart of our business, but because they’re members of our Village family. We’ve used your feedback from previous Associate Engagement Measurement (AEM) surveys to listen to what you have to say and act on it; for example, you requested better communication about the things that are happening at our company, and it’s one of the reasons we created the Associate text line.

We’re always looking to improve how we listen to you as well! This year marks the first time the AEM surveys will be taken twice a year rather than annually. It will allow us to better understand changes in how you feel and act more quickly. The first of these surveys begins today on Tuesday, September 15th, and will last until Sunday, October 4th. Every Village Associate, regardless of your position, department, or location, is encouraged to take the survey. However, it should be noted that this first September survey will not include the Microfulfillment Center, Perishable Distribution Center, or our Fairway teams. Since they are brand new additions to the Village family, we want them to be settled before we ask them to provide feedback. Instead, these teams will join our survey process in the next biannual survey in March.

 

 

How do I take the survey?

It’s quick and easy! There are three ways to participate:

FOR STORE ASSOCIATES:

  1. Your store has dedicated computer stations to take the survey (safe and socially distanced, of course)
  2. You can use TC-70 handhelds to access the survey through the Soti-Surf app
  3. You can use your store’s iPads to take the survey also

Please be courteous — don’t forget to wipe down the computer, TC-70, or iPad to keep it clean for the next person who uses it.

 

FOR CORPORATE/FIELD ASSOCIATES:

  1. Visit link.wakefern.com while connected to the VPN to take the survey

Pictured below is the link you’ll see in LINK that will take you to the survey:

If you have any questions, ask your Store Management team or Engagement Captain for assistance. They’re prepared to help you with anything you need for the survey!

Remember: your surveys are completely confidential and administered by Glint, a third-party vendor, who makes your confidentiality a priority. Your answers are reported as part of a group and you will never be individually identified.

 

It’s your chance to speak up and be heard!

We need your open and honest opinions so we know how to improve your work experience and celebrate the things we do well. We continuously strive to be better every day and we want you to love the place where you work, so there’s no reason not to take this survey.

Thank you for everything you do at Village, and we look forward to seeing responses from the Village Team!

You asked for it and now it’s here! Beginning Sunday, May 24th, we will offer a Team Member Meal Discount, which will include a sandwich, a bag of chips, and a drink for only $5. You can pick from a wide selection of ShopRite Kitchen half-subs, many types of soda, iced tea, or sparkling water, and a variety of chips.

Simply show your name badge while you checkout and the cashier will apply the discount! Check your breakroom for the flyer; it contains a list of all the items that are eligible for this program.