25 Years of Setting Up Our CIAA Towns & Cities for Success
When most people think of a grocery store, they think of it only as a place to shop.
At Food Lion, we’re proud of that the connection we have with our customers extends beyond its doors into the many towns and cities throughout our 10-state footprint.
A great example of that is the partnership Food Lion has with the Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association (CIAA). In fact, this year marks the 25th year Food Lion and the CIAA have partnered together to make a great impact in the towns and cities home to CIAA schools.
If anyone knows about the bonds that can form over a 25-year time span, it’s Garland Scarboro. Scarboro, who’s been a Food Lion associate for over 25 years, has seen plenty of change at both the CIAA and Food Lion over the years.
But he says one thing has remained consistent: the appreciation and respect each of the organizations have for each other.
“Like the CIAA, Food Lion believes in always making sure our customers can count on us,” said Scarboro.
Scarboro, a manager in Food Lion’s Diversity and Inclusion department, said that it is fitting that this year’s CIAA conference theme revolves around legacy, because he’s proud of the legacy Food Lion and the CIAA have formed over their 25-year partnership.
“When I think of one’s legacy, I think about milestones we all experience, both personally and professionally,” Scarboro said. “It’s associated with words like heritage, tradition, longevity, success and pride. I can’t think of a better way to describe the Food Lion/ CIAA experience than with these words. For 25 years, generation after generation, families, friends, teachers, students, and of course, Food Lion customers, have helped create what we have today. I am overwhelmingly proud that Food Lion plays a role in this great partnership.”
Over the past 25 years, Food Lion has provided jobs to CIAA students and staff to help set them up for success. This has helped to provided financial support for the studies and families and helped develop some unbreakable bonds.
But the connections don’t stop there. Below are some additional highlights and impacts that Food Lion has provided to many students, faculty, and staff in CIAA communities:
- Food Lion became the first official Supermarket Partner of the CIAA in 1998 fostering a deeper connection with faculty, staff and students in 12 local towns and cities within our footprint.
- Food Lion has contributed approximately $5 million towards scholarships since 2003 setting students up for success in Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh, N.C., Salisbury, N.C., Winston-Salem, N.C., Fayetteville, N.C., Philadelphia, Pa., Petersburg, Va., and Bowie, Md.
- Food Lion has provided more than 30 CIAA students with job opportunities through its Retail Management Trainee (RMT) Program since 2003. This 12-month program is designed to develop future leaders by providing experiences that enable them to understand the grocery business as well as develop their leadership skills.
- In addition, Food Lion has provided $60,000 in scholarships for CIAA college queen representatives through the annual Miss CIAA Competition.
- Food Lion associate and Fayetteville State University graduate Jermaine Coble became the first African-American student from a CIAA institution to be accepted into the company’s International Management Trainee Program.
- Food Lion opened four CIAA School pantries since 2015 nourishing more than 2,200 students in four local towns and cities in our footprint. The pantries have enabled them to focus on their studies instead of making tough choices to find their next meal. Food Lion will open its fifth CIAA school pantry at Fayetteville State University in February 2019.
- Food Lion created its first hunger-related social media campaign (#BallinonHunger) in 2017 and has since engaged communities to help provide more than 40,000 meals nourishing local families fighting hunger insecurity adjacent to CIAA schools.
- Food Lion received the Outstanding Partnership Award in 2017 for its longstanding partnership with CIAA and impacting local towns through scholarships, jobs and nurturing families facing food insecurity.