Big Y Foods is receiving national recognition from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) for its support of the YMCA of Greater Springfield’s Y-AIM program. FMI recently announced Big Y as a recipient of the organization’s Community Outreach Award.
FMI issues the awards annually to highlight the often unheralded good that grocery stores do to contribute to their community and encourage others to find their way of paying it forward.
Along with the award, comes a $1,000 donation to the Y. These funds will be added to the annual contribution that Big Y has committed to Y-AIM for 2014.
The Y-AIM (Achieve, Inspire, Motivate) program provides opportunities for academic, social, economic and physical success for the region’s teens. The program is widely acclaimed for its successful high school graduation rate, particularly in Springfield where the graduation rate continues to struggle at less than 55 percent. With generous funding from Big Y Foods, Springfield Public Schools and other community-minded donors, over 90 percent of Y-AIM participants graduated from high school in recent years.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of organizations like Big Y, who recognize and appreciate the need for community partnerships to support the education of our youth,” says Kirk Smith, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield. “Thanks to community-minded leaders like the D’Amour family, the Y can continue to provide resources and opportunities to meet the growing needs of our community.”
“For over 75 years, Big Y has had a strong commitment to education and the academic achievement of children in our communities,” says Charlie D’Amour, President and COO, Big Y Foods, Inc. “The comprehensive nature of Y-AIM prepares young people from diverse backgrounds with the knowledge and the soft skills they will need to navigate the world of school, work, and community. Helping to build life skills and working with students is such a natural partnership for Big Y, the YMCA of Greater Springfield, and the City of Springfield. I am proud of the impact and the results.”