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09/01/2021

Wegmans Food Markets tops People’s ‘100 Companies That Care’ list — here’s why

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Wegmans employees
Wegmans employees in Brooklyn, N.Y., prepare for a food donation to the Brooklyn Justice Initiatives. (Photo: Bryan Derballa)

A family-owned supermarket chain landed the No. 1 spot on a ranking of employers that have gone above and beyond to create positive workplaces for their staff and the community at large.

Wegmans Food Market took the top spot in People’s fifth annual list of “100 Companies That Care.” People partnered with global workplace culture consultant Great Place to Work to identify the top U.S. companies that best fit the criteria, analyzing survey responses from more than five million employees. The ranking selects winners based on the level of care and concern for their employees, their communities, and the environment.

The winning companies score highly on how well they create great employee experiences that cut across race, gender, age, disability status, or any aspect of who employees are or their roles. Great Place to Work also assessed the level of generosity of each organization’s benefits and philanthropic and community support – with particular focus on activities occurring in the last year.

WEGMANS

From food donations to providing seniors free rides to their stores and to medical appointments, Wegmans gives back to the communities it serves in a variety of ways. The company, based in Rochester, N.Y., came out on top this year for its outstanding support of low-income and marginalized communities by securing them access to food. In the past year, the chain’s total donation to local food banks and hunger relief agencies was close to $30 million and more than 18 million pounds of food. 

Employees at each of the company’s stores play a key role in giving back, deciding which donation requests are most needed in their communities, according to People.  And Wegmans pays team members for donating their time and talents to serve those in need, an incentive that helped make some of the company's charitable initiatives in 2020—including a Salvation Army Christmas Bureau Distribution and an annual flu shot campaign—huge successes.

“There is nothing more important to us than our people feeling cared for, so this award means the world to our family and our company,” said Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Wegmans Food Markets. “Our philosophy has always been to take care of our people so they can take care of our customers. It has been incredibly inspiring to watch our people show up every day with a smile, ready to serve our customers while most of the world was asked to stay home. Thank you to both our people and our customers for helping create such a caring environment at Wegmans.”

Wegmans operates 106 supermarkets in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and North Carolina. The company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016

[Read More: Wegmans to open its first store in Manhattan on site of recently closed Kmart]

Besides Wegmans, five other retailers make the ranking. The companies were: Publix Super Markets (#22), Target Corp. (#27), Nugget Markets (#42), Burlington (No.62) and Dick’s Sporting Goods (No.96).

“Publix’s culture is focused on serving our customers and taking care of our associates, communities and planet,” said Publix VP of public affairs John Provenzano. “Our responsibility extends beyond our aisles and into our communities, a commitment that started with our founder, George Jenkins. Being recognized as a company that cares is an honor, especially as we’re continuing to navigate through the challenges of a pandemic.”  (It was Publix's second consecutive year on the list."

The Cheesecake Factory (No. 85), the only restaurant to make the list, lowered the hourly requirement for working staff to receive health benefits so that furloughed employees wouldn’t have to worry about losing them.

“These [Top 100] companies show up for humanity in a variety of ways — from showing compassion for their employees to giving back to their communities to putting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the forefront,” said Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work.

The complete list of — and information on —the 100 Companies That Care is can be viewed here.

Employers that would like to be considered for next year’s list may apply at greatplacetowork.com/companies-that-care.