February 22 will now be known as Supermarket Employee Day after the Food Industry Association officially declared the holiday in honor of the men and women keeping our supermarkets running amidst an uncertain crisis.
The campaign seeks to highlight the tireless efforts of the grocery store workers who have served as the backbone of the American household throughout the pandemic.
Supermarkets have remained open every day of the last year as the elderly, non-essential workers, school-aged children, and others sheltered in place, worked from home, and suspended nights out at local restaurants to reduce the spread of the virus.
Supermarket employees across the country have taken extra safety precautions to keep the public safe all while putting themselves at greater risk in order to serve their communities. Despite supply chain disruptions, shortages for key home goods, and the added burden of practicing CDC guidelines daily, grocery store workers have continued to offer a high level of customer service to ensure shoppers have the products they need to keep their households fed and afloat.
The Food Industry Association put together a Supermarket Employee Day Toolkit you can use to show your appreciation for the supermarket employees in your community. The association encourages those looking to offer encouragement and praise to grocery store workers to share messages on social media with the hashtags #SupermarketEmployeeDay and #SupermarketHeroes.
Additionally, the association offers a template that individuals can use to develop a proclamation asking their local government to declare February 22 Supermarket Employee Day. The template can be customized to suit specific regions.
Supermarket managers can also check out the association’s tips for generating powerful ways to recognize, reward, and appreciate their team members.
There are also infographics available on the site to educate others on social media about the sacrifices grocery store workers have made throughout the pandemic to ensure all households have what they need to survive.
“Be it hurricanes, blizzards, fires or floods, supermarket employees sustain communities; they maintain the critical pipeline of food and supplies that sustain the health and well-being of their customers,” FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin wrote in a Jan 14 blog post. “But they also go above and beyond by volunteering countless hours and contributing valuable support to community service.”
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 27 million reported cases of COVID-19 in the US and over 110 million cases worldwide. Grocery store workers have been on the frontlines for more than a year, many working overtime in high-exposure conditions.
“We encourage you to leverage the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that is the cornerstone of the food industry and develop your own special ways of recognizing your employees on this day or even longer if you so choose,” Sarasin wrote. “It’s a time for us all to pause and appreciate the accomplishments we’ve had as we look toward the future.”