Southeastern Grocers has introduced the Romay Davis Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity Grant Program, aimed at providing funding to nonprofits supporting minority communities.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based grocer — the parent of Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie — said its SEG Gives Foundation is offering nonprofits in communities throughout its seven-state footprint the opportunity to apply for grant funds to help address racial disparities in access to food and medical care.
The Romay Davis Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity Grant Program began accepting applications on July 8 and is slated to remain open through Sept. 8. Organizations in Southeastern Grocers’ market area can apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.
Southeastern Grocers said the SEG Inclusion and Diversity Committee will review and evaluate all applications. Plans call for grant awards to be announced in December 2020.
The namesake for the grant program is Romay Davis, a store associate at Winn-Dixie for 20 years. Southeastern Grocers said that, last year, the company and its Winn-Dixie location in Montgomery, Ala., celebrated her 100th birthday.
At a time when women and people of color faced restricted rights, Davis “consistently broke barriers and shattered glass ceilings by challenging society’s limited beliefs,” according to Southeastern Grocers. Davis served in World War II, graduated from New York University and succeeded in a 30-year fashion career. After retirement, she earned a master’s degree and a black belt in Taekwondo. And at age 80, she rejoined the workforce as a Winn-Dixie associate.
Southeastern Grocers said the grant named for Davis recognizes her lifetime achievements and milestones, and the company hopes that it will provide inspiration and opportunity for others.
“We take pride in cultivating an environment of belonging, inclusion and diversity. As a people first company, we are committed to creating a thriving culture with stores that reflect the local communities we serve,” Elizabeth Thompson, executive vice president and chief people officer at Southeastern Grocers, said in a statement. “Embracing and celebrating our differences makes us stronger, and we are honored to stand with our associates, customers and neighbors to support nonprofits that positively impact our communities. We are stronger together.”
Overall, Southeastern Grocers operates 550 supermarkets in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.