Some essential, frontline workers are getting a first-ever day of their own.
The Food Industry Association is declaring Monday as national Supermarket Employee Day. It’s set aside to recognize those workers for all they do to feed families and serve their communities.
AJ Swander is the Family Fare Store Director at Traverse City’s 8th Street location. “We’ve been out here on the front lines ever since, forever, for that matter. But ever since the pandemic hit. We’ve been fortunate enough to serve our communities even with that going on. We’re always here. That’s never going to change. We’re here to serve and that’s what we intend to do no matter what the circumstances. We’re proud to be part of the communities we serve. We’re just glad to do our part.”
Swander says the appreciation from customers has been nice to see over the past year. “One of the most gratifying parts of the job is we as a group never really intended to be, or thought of ourselves as essential or frontline workers until this happened. To get a customer to come up and say ‘thank you, we’re glad you’re here.’ When all these years we’ve always been the ones to say ‘thank you, we’re glad you’re here.’ That turnaround has been really unique and gratifying for us as a team. We appreciate hearing that.”
Family Fare and SpartanNash store employees are getting an extra 20% employee discount as a show of appreciation Monday. The company also includes Ada Fresh Market, D&W Fresh Market, and Pick’n Save among others, and has 154 stores in nine states. According to the Food Industry Association, there are more than 40,000 grocery and food stores in the United States.