At Fareway, You're Family
Fareway employees have earned a reputation for being an asset to the communities in which they live; helping neighbors, local businesses and charitable organizations of all sizes. Giving and being a part of the local community is a core organizational value.
With the emergence of COVID-19 and the many unknowns, one thing is clear: taking care of our customers and communities — and treating them like family — is more important than ever before. We are prepared to be supportive, continue to care for the needs of our communities and help maintain safety and instill confidence for our customers, partners and fellow employees.
Fareway’s Front Line
We value our dedicated employees and are working hard to keep them safe.
We have reminded employees to stay home if they do not feel well and have activated a return-to-work travel policy. Additionally, we continue to offer virtual health care visits and have updated our health insurance plan to reduce costs and increase access to additional testing/medications relative to the current virus.
Fareway was one of the first to announce a plan to provide cash bonuses and additional paid time-off for our hourly employees who have worked on the frontlines during these unprecedented, last several weeks.
But most importantly, the outreach of support from our customers has been incredible. Please continue to provide positive comments to our employees who are going above and beyond, putting in long hours, being flexible as the situation evolves and increasing sanitation measures, amongst many other protocols. Words of encouragement go a long way to provide our staff with the adrenaline they need to make it through a long day and to reassure them that they are providing the best in customer service.
Fareway recently launched a gift card program for small businesses and their employees in-need during this unprecedented time. Gift cards totaling more than $220,000 were provided to local chamber of commerce affiliates in the communities Fareway serves in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota.
President and CEO Reynolds W. Cramer shared that local chambers have the pulse in each community and how to best to serve its small business members. The hope is that these gift cards help reduce some of the stress our community business partners are facing in light of current circumstances.
This month, gift cards are being distributed by chambers to their local small business owners. You can follow the movement on Facebook with #FarewayShopsLocal.
In addition, Fareway continues to provide for area food pantry partners through a food donation program and increased gifts from customers and corporate. Additional support for our charitable giving partners providing essential services is being designated to help maintain operations now and into the future.
Safety + Sanitation
The safety and health of our customers, partners and employees is of utmost importance. Additional internal protocols have been activated, which include increased sanitation measures, store-cleaning frequency and the availability of hand sanitizer and wipes, among other measures (including, but not limited to, an effort to clean carts before and/or after use and the cleaning of pin pads, check stands and high touch point areas).
Fareway was one of the first retailers to also adopt new store hours Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The first hour of business is reserved for those customers who are 65 and over, expecting mothers and those living with serious chronic or underlying medical conditions. The early closure provides for additional cleaning and sanitation, as well as time for restocking inventory.
Signage throughout the store has also been posted for several weeks, reminding both customers and employees of best practices:
- Shop Smart — only once per week
- Sending just one family member to shop (if able)
- Removing kids carts from being accessible
- Recommended use of face masks and the availability of masks/gloves for employees
- Physical distancing floor marker reminders and training for carryout courtesy
- Check stand guards installed in each store location
- Contactless pay options available
- Not accepting the return of cans/bottles and most products
- Leaving reusable bags at home
We are all in this together. As an organization providing an essential service, we look forward to continuing to be mindful and doing our part.
You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.