At Cobornâ€™s, we have a strong tradition of community caring, service and support. We emphasize the importance of being involved and giving back. Each year, our company donates more than $3 million and thousands of volunteer hours to our local communities. Our three largest areas of focus are fighting hunger, investing in youth, and promoting healthy living.
Second Harvest Heartland
As a company we are committed to supporting our communities in many ways, with hunger relief being a key facet of that support. We are proud to partner with Second Harvest Heartland and its partner Food Bank to donate millions of pounds of dairy, deli, produce, meat and frozen foods to our hungry neighbors. These foods are perfectly edible, but canâ€™t be sold to guests in our stores because of a dent in the soup can or a small bruise on an apple. Each year we donate these millions of pounds of food to more than 1.4 million families in need.
Our "Bag Hunger" program allows guests to purchase prepackaged grocery bags for the food shelves. Each $6 bag contains a healthy selection of non-perishable food items to prepare a family meal. When you purchase a bag, the cashier will ring up your donation and then you can place your bag in our food shelf collection cart.
Throughout the year, all of our communitiesâ€™ hold a variety of food drives. We partner with clubs, organizations and groups to help make these food drives a success. Each March, which is Minnesota Food Share Month, Cobornâ€™s offers a match of up to 10,000 pounds of food for a large food drive in Central Minnesota. We also work to fight hunger with our annual Stuff the Truck promotion each fall.
How does the program work?
Labels for Learning is simple. The program rewards guests who purchase private label products at one of our locations with Labels for Learning points. The more private label items you buy, the more points you receive and the more your organization will benefit. These points are collected by participating schools and child-care facilities and then are redeemed for cash to benefit the organization. Click here to enroll in the Labels for Learning program or to check whether your school or organization is already in the program.
One of Cobornâ€™s Core Values is Community Giving. Many of our employees say that itâ€™s rewarding to work for a company that supports the community, and itâ€™s even more rewarding when we each can play an active role in providing that support.
Since the United Way was first brought into the St. Cloud area in five decades ago, Cobornâ€™s has supported the organization because of all the good it does in each of our communities. Dan and Mabel Coborn were co-founders of the United Way of Central Minnesota at its birth in 1967 and during the companyâ€™s very first United Way campaign, Dan Coborn informed employees that the success of United Way is built on broad-based participation. When every employee participates, the collective impact is massive.
Every autumn, we host high-energy campaigns across the company, asking for our employeesâ€™ support to help carry on this long-standing tradition through payroll deductions or special fundraisers. As a company, we get behind this campaign because Cobornâ€™s recognizes that through strategic partnerships, we can strengthen our communities. United Way funds many organizations that are all trying to meet the same goals, and together, it is able to pool its resources to deliver community-wide solutions. All of our employeesâ€™ donations go to their local United Way branch, ensuring their dollars stay within their own local community.
Each spring and summer, many clubs and organizations look for opportunities to raise funds to support their activities. As a proud member of the communities we serve, we are honored to help support these non-profit clubs and organizations by hosting community cookouts in front of our stores.
How does the program work?
After the non-profit group or club is approved they will have the opportunity to run a food stand outside one of our locations in their local community. We provide the grill, supplies and all of the food at cost for the group. The group provides the labor to run the stand and will receive the profits from the food stand at the conclusion of the sale. If your club, youth group or organization is interested in participating we have food stands available on Fridays and Saturdays from May through October. Contact a location nearest you to set up your stand!
At Cobornâ€™s, we have a huge soft spot for children, especially children facing challenges. In 2002, Cobornâ€™s President and CEO Chris Coborn partnered with Greg Kurr, Corporate Vice President of Sales at Kemps to find a way to do more for the people of Minnesota, specifically children in Central Minnesota. The First Annual â€œGrocers on the Green, Chip'n in for Kids Cancerâ€ was held on September 16, 2002, at the St. Cloud Country Club, in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The monies from the golf event benefit the Pediatric Cancer Unit at the Coborn Cancer Center.
Fast forwarding to 2015, Cobornâ€™s raised more than $255,000 at its 14th annual Grocers on the Green golf tournament. Since its inception, the event has raised nearly $2.2 million.
As a company, we have many initiatives in place to promote healthy living.
One of the most impactful is our partnership with the Nutritional Value Scoring System (NuVal), which provides a comprehensive nutritional value score right on the price tag. The higher the number (up to 100), the more nutritional value the food has.
We also feature a healthy checkout lane at each store, which offers a selection of fresh and healthy snacks with all items selected by our Registered Supermarket Dietitian. Our stores pay close attention to ensure fresh food quality and product freshness in every department.
Our employees also participate in wellness challenges and cheer on our guests and co-workers as they work toward healthy-living goals.
We continue to expand our Natural and Organic offerings and nurture our connections with local farmers.
Besides healthy foods, we have accredited pharmacies in many of our locations and a full selection of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements. Our friendly pharmacists work diligently to serve their patients and provide the highest level of service with the upmost level of care.
Speaking of service, we have a growing team of supermarket dieticians who also work in our stores. The supermarket dietitians help guests make healthier choices by providing personal consultations, cooking classes, grocery tours, and educational resources.
By making healthy living a priority, we are investing in the greater health of our communities.
The Coborn Family Foundation was established jointly by Cobornâ€™s, Inc. and members of the Coborn family in December 2015. This foundation houses contributions both from the company and from Coborn family members. The first gift to be given by the Coborn Family Foundation is a $1 million donation to CentraCare Health to establish a survivorship center adjacent to the current Coborn Cancer Center. The survivorship center will offer wellness and integrative therapies including yoga, mindfulness, acupuncture, massage, healing touch and other therapeutic options for cancer patients and survivors and their families.
The foundation facilitates the major gifts that Cobornâ€™s gives to the communities it serves. It also was created to help ensure that donations set aside for charitable giving will carry out the mission of our company and will be available for generations to come. Vice President of Fresh Merchandising Emily Coborn is the President of the foundation.
When our vendors and partners join together for the Grocers on the Green golf tournament each September, Cobornâ€™s raises additional funds through the annual Food for the Cure promotion, which supports the Coborn Cancer Center Greatest Need Fund. The money pays for events for couples and families with young children, counseling and classes for patients and their families, an endowment to fund registered nurse care coordinators, and participation in more than 50 clinical research studies. This special campaign raises nearly $200,000 annually.
Coborn's has established the following criteria to guide us in distributing donations in the communities we serve. These criteria are not intended to discourage organizations from requesting donations, but rather to maintain a direction and focus so we can make a great difference.
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