ABINGDON, VA (Tuesday, June 12, 2012) – Food City’s retail supermarket chain annually recognizes outstanding volunteerism among their associates via their Claude P. Varney Volunteer Recognition Program. The creation of the program came in response to President Bush’s call to boost volunteer efforts through corporate support. During a June 2002 White House meeting, President Bush met with corporate leaders from organizations across the nation and key White House staff members to discuss objectives for his Businesses Strengthening America volunteerism campaign. Steve Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer was among the select group.
“As a company, we strive to maintain a high level of dedication to service, quality, value and community involvement, while providing a work environment that enables our associates to grow both personally and professionally as successful members of the team,” says Smith. “Many of our associates volunteer their time and talents to numerous organizations in support of their communities and we felt it needful to formally recognize their selfless contributions.”
The program was entitled in memory of Food City’s beloved former president and board vice-chairman of 47 years, Claude P. Varney. Varney was well-known for his tremendous compassion and humanitarian services. Each year, committees are established to review associate volunteer activities and select individual award recipients based on outstanding achievement in the areas of health, education, environment, cultural arts, recreational, heritage/history and public service. One winner is selected from each Food City location and corporate level. The field is then narrowed to eleven district level winners, followed by two divisional winners and finally the recipient of the highly esteemed Claude P. Varney Humanitarian Award.
After reviewing her genuine commitment to serving others, it’s not hard to see why Doris Banks of the Whitesburg, KY Food City was selected as this year’s Claude P. Varney Humanitarian Award recipient. Banks, who has been employed with the company for fourteen years, currently serves as the store’s Floral Manager. She is a long-time volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, serving as co-chair for Letcher County, organizing teams, holding monthly meetings, selling t-shirts, securing corporate sponsors and making luminaries. Letcher County ranks an impressive sixth in the nation for money raised per capita. Banks also serves as the captain of the Food City Relay Team, encouraging associates to get involved, motivating team members and assisting with team fundraising efforts. She conducts regular visits to her local Hospice, sitting with patients and sewing rice heating pads for them. She collects lap quilts for the patients of Letcher Manor Nursing Home and then wraps and delivers them, labeled from Santa. Last year, she collected over 200 quilts for the program. She adopts residents from her local nursing home’s annual Christmas tree project and purchases gifts for them. Banks also assists her local high schools in decorating for their prom, graduation and other special events and purchases corsages and boutonnieres for needy students. She helps coordinate a number of private community fundraisers, making homemade hot dog chili, working the sales booth and lending a hand as needed. She assists the elderly residents in her neighborhood, providing transportation and assisting with routine errands. Banks is also the recipient of the 2010 Unsung Hero Award for Letcher County, recognizing her outstanding volunteer efforts within the community.
“It’s such an honor to receive this award,” said Banks. “I’m so thankful to work for a company that encourages you to be active within your community.”
A corporate luncheon was recently held to publicly recognize Banks for her outstanding service achievements. She was presented with an honorary plaque and Food City will make a $1,000 contribution on her behalf to the charity of her choice.
“We’re extremely proud of the difference our associates make by devoting their time and talents to the service of others. Our company is committed to providing our associates the support they need to become the best corporate citizens possible,” summarized Smith.
Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T operates 105 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.