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Employer Support Freedom Award

Department of Defense Recognizes Food Lion as Outstanding Employer

Food Lion received the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. Food Lion was the only grocery store chain nationwide to receive this honor out of the 15 employers selected.

Presented by the United States Department of Defense, the award, in its 15th year, is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of their associates who serve in the National Guard and Reserves.

“Food Lion is proud to support its military associates who serve as members of the Guard and Reserve to protect the freedom we enjoy everyday,” said Eric Watson, Delhaize America’s Vice-President of Diversity and Inclusion. “We recognize our associates for going beyond the call of duty serving both our country and company.”

Almost 2,500 Guard and Reserve members, or their family members, from across the country nominated employers for exceptional support, which included providing full salary, continuation of benefits, care packages and even family support to employees fulfilling their military obligation.

In addition to the benefits required by law, the support Food Lion provides, includes:

  • Differential pay for the period of active duty for full-time associates;
  • Assistance in paying premiums of group and/or dependent health insurance. Food Lion pays three months of premiums and then provides assistance in finding ways for associates to continue paying premiums after the three months has elapsed;
  • Free counseling services for families of deployed associates;
  • Appropriate allowances on loans to members of the Lion’s Share Credit Union;
  • Deferred profit sharing loans, if applicable;
  • Ability to disperse accrued vacation pay to spouses; and
  • Financial assistance in emergency situations, provided by the associate-funded Lion's Pride Foundation.

Many company associates support deployed associates in various ways, including sending adopting colleague families who have been called into active duty, donating food and volunteering during community military events, and establishing a Veteran’s and Military Business Resource Group.

Steve Boos is one of the many Food Lion Family and Bottom Dollar Food associates who is on active military duty. Boos, who has managed Food Lion Store 2556 in New Bern, N.C., for 13 years, nominated Food Lion for the 2010 Freedom Award. Boos is a Master Sgt in the U.S. Army Reserve, and recently returned to the United States after serving more than a year overseas.

On behalf of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a National Selection Board comprised of senior defense officials, business leaders and prior Freedom Award recipients selected the 2010 Freedom Award honorees.

"This year, recipients are among the top U.S. employers that provide outstanding support for Guard and Reserve employees,” said James G. Rebholz, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) National Chairman. “Their superior and unselfish initiatives to support their Guard and Reserve employees make them indispensable partners in the defense efforts of this country. We are truly grateful for their unwavering support."

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BENEFITS
Food Lion takes great pride in offering all eligible associates with excellent benefits.

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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE RECOGNIZES FOOD LION
Food Lion received the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

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