In honor of Black History Month, Natural Grocers has renewed its partnership with Jack and Jill of America, Inc. (JJOA) to support the organizations’s College Graduation Assistance Program (GAP) Fund designed to assist HBCU students.

According to a press release, Natural Grocery plans to donate 1 percent of proceeds from all purchases on Sunday, Feb. 28 to the College GAP Fund, which offers scholarship endowments to these HBCU students.

Every year, a number of college seniors are faced with the challenge of not graduating on time due to tuition debt, but with JJOA and Natural Grocers’ joint initiative, they’re aiming to provide a direct lifeline for these students attending HBCUs who have the grades and credits that qualify them to graduate.

Jack and Jill of America, Inc. — a membership organization founded in 1938 dedicated to nurturing future Black leaders through leadership development, volunteer work, philanthropy, and civic duty — forged this partnership with Natural Grocers in alignment with their founding principles and overall mission to serve its community.

“This partnership aligns with our mission of nurturing future African-American leaders,” said Kornisha Brown, National President of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. — in a statement. “In Natural Grocers, we have a partner who did more than just recognize the need to uplift our future leaders by helping HBCU students graduate on time. They acted.” 

The two entities came together out of a shared value system based on their individual commitments to the families and communities they cater to through education and empowerment.

Natural Grocers — the nation’s largest family operated organic and natural grocer retailer — has a long-standing history of generously giving back to its communities, which has manifested into a mission to support health and wellness with free nutrition education and affordable food choices that are accessible to all.

“As one of our Founding Principles, commitment to the health of our communities is a true reflection of why our parents founded Natural Grocers in 1955 and it remains a guiding beacon for the company,” Kemper Isely — Natural Grocers Chairman and Co-President — shared in a statement. “We are proud to join Jack and Jill of America in our collective purpose-driven mission to invest back into the growth and future of our communities.”

In addition to the national fundraising campaign, the joint partnership has also expanded to include a year-round give-back program with 12 of JJOA’s regional chapters based in Denver, CO, Dallas, TX and Little Rock, AR.

Every JJOA member within these markets will then receive a Natural Grocers and Jack and Jill of America Partnership card, which triggers an uncapped 5 percent of sales give-back to the organization upon checkout at any Natural Grocers store.

This 5 percent sales-based donation is broken down into the following categories:   

    • 2.5 percent of the purchases go to the JJOA College GAP Fund, to help make a lasting impact in the lives of HBCU students
    • 2.5 percent of these purchases go directly back to participating local JJOA chapters. 

For more information about the nationwide HBCU fundraiser initiative, click here.