What began as a fund to assist its associates and staff in need during the peak COVID-19 pandemic months, The Natural Grocers Heroes in Apron Fund has now been established as a nonprofit organization recognized by the IRS, and the organic retailer is pooling all of its long-standing charitable work under the newly established organization.
For 60 years, Natural Grocers has been providing various philanthropic services but the Heroes in Aprons Fund has motivated the company to establish a 501c3. Natural Grocers will use the fund to continue to provide short-term financial assistance to its employees, also known as the good4u Crew, experiencing hardships such as family members who are sick, employees hit with natural disasters and any other unforeseen circumstances. The fund will also provide direct grants to its various charity partners.
Funds will be raised through in-store programs like rounding up at the register after buying own brand and national brand goods, and other sales-based giveback programs and company initiatives. Natural Grocers will also collect corporate donations and give donations to the fund.
The first program being held for Heroes in Aprons is a 66th anniversary celebration where 1% of all sales on Aug. 12 will be donated to the charity. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Lakewood, Colo., operates nearly 160 stores across 20 states.