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Wakefern announced that it has donated $1 million to The Academy of Food Marketing at Philadelphia's St. Joseph’s University – the largest ever gift to the food business school based in Philadelphia.

The money was raised by Wakefern through its ShopRite stores and partner vendors. The company says it set the ambitious $1 million goal after raising $850,000 in 2008 and $750,000 in 2003 for the school. The funds will be used to help fund educational programs and scholarships and defray costs for many of the 540 undergraduates in the Academy of Food Marketing.

“More young people are seeing the benefits of working in retail, which is changing rapidly and where the breadth of careers and experiences is growing," says Robert Higgins, executive director of The Academy of Food Marketing. "Salaries are rising and there is more prestige and more room for advancement and long-term careers. This donation from Wakefern will go a long way in helping us bring great young candidates into our program and the industry."

“There are many great careers in the supermarket business, and those jobs are not just in the retail stores. There are opportunities in sales, law, marketing, purchasing and more,” says Wakefern chairman/CEO Joseph Colalillo. "We need leaders in the industry and we think an important way to grow the industry and develop future leaders is through programs like The Academy of Food Marketing.”
KC's View:
An amazing gift, and the kind of donation that will not be forgotten; it will resonate in the lives of young people for many years to come.