JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEC) has donated $1.5 million to Folds of Honor, a nonprofit group that provides scholarships to the families of fallen and disabled service members.
“At Southeastern Grocers, we are devoted to our local communities and passionate about giving back to those who have given so much for our freedoms,” Southeastern Grocers president and CEO Anthony Hucker said in a statement on Wednesday. “Through our continued partnership with Folds of Honor, we are able to make a lasting impact in the lives of local military service families by helping educate our nation’s future. It’s an honor that we take great pride in, and we are pleased to announce that we have donated more than 1,100 educational scholarships to the families of America’s fallen and disabled veterans over the past three years. We believe it’s our duty to pay it forward, and we are extremely thankful to our customers, associates and partners for standing with us in support of Folds of Honor.”
The donation was made possible through contributions from supplier partners and in-store customer donations, as well as the grocer’s charitable foundation.
The six-week community donation program kicked off with a $50,000 donation from world-class chef Robert Irvine through The Robert Irvine Foundation in partnership with Coca-Cola. From May 26 through July 4, customers at SEG’s Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores were invited to round up their total grocery bill to the nearest dollar or make a donation of their choice at check out in honor of United States military heroes and their loved ones. The grocer’s charitable foundation, SEG Gives, also made a $500,000 donation to the program to provide an additional 100 scholarships.
“We are so grateful for our partnership with Southeastern Grocers as they continue to make a positive impact in the lives of our military service families throughout the Southeast year after year,” Folds of Honor founder and CEO Lt. Col. Dan Rooney said. “The loyalty and kindness of their customers and community is simply unmatched. More than a thousand lives, families and futures are now changed thanks to America’s most patriotic grocery store.”
During the program, the grocer continued its partnership with country music star John Rich where 10% of proceeds from his Redneck Riviera Whiskey supported the cause. SEG also donated $1 for every bottle sold throughout the duration of the community donation program. In addition, a portion of proceeds from every bottle of Redneck Rivera’s 1776 BBQ Sauce (Original and Kickin’ Honey) sold in stores benefitted Folds of Honor. Vendor partner Tito’s Handmade Vodka also pledged $1 to Folds of Honor for each bottle sold during the month of May. These generous donations expanded the grocer’s support for the customers, associates and families of those who have served, continue to serve or have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Every cent donated during the campaign will go directly to Folds of Honor to provide 300 educational scholarships for spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Scholarships awarded through Folds of Honor provide private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, along with higher education tuition assistance for children, spouses and dependents.
Since 2018, SEG has donated more than $5.5 million to Folds of Honor, which has provided more than 1,100 educational scholarships to the children and spouses impacted by a loved one’s sacrifice for the United States military. Since 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded approximately 29,000 educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Last year alone, Folds of Honor awarded 4,500 educational scholarships throughout the United States, including 874 life-changing scholarships within the five states SEG serves.