Independent Grocers Honored with Peter J. Larkin Community Service Award

Las Vegas, NV –  The National Grocers Association (NGA) recognized the entire independent community grocery industry by collectively presenting them with this year’s Peter J. Larkin Community Service Award during yesterday’s Opening Session of the 2021 NGA Show at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

“Considering the herculean efforts displayed by the independent grocery industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, we could not choose just one company for this honor. The entire industry stepped up to the plate, not only providing food and other necessary products, but continuing to participate in countless community service initiatives,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO. “It has been truly inspiring to see grocers giving back during a time when they sacrificed so much. With community service, we see the important role independents play at the heart of their community. NGA is happy to present this award to the entire industry for their actions during the pandemic, and I commend grocers for their continued focus on community service.” 

The creation of this award, sponsored by Kimberly-Clark, was announced during the 2019 NGA Show as a way to recognize an independent retailer or wholesaler company for their unique and strong service to the community during the previous year. While the award is typically given to a single company, this year there were too many to choose from, as independents across the country displayed their strong commitment to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Independent grocers have always been known for their commitment to community service, but it became even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, with independent grocers continuing community service programs while having to adapt to a new pandemic landscape, and also creating new programs aimed at helping those suffering during these devastating times,” said Denny Belcastro, Kimberly-Clark VP of industry affairs and customer development. “Kimberly-Clark is proud to support such an important award and we congratulate the entire industry for their commitment to community service.” 

Belcastro also announced Kimberly-Clark’s partnership with NGA member retailers to donate diapers for needy families to Washington, D.C.-area diaper banks. 

“Diaper need is a critical issue in the U.S., affecting one in three families,” Belcastro said. “Far too many parents struggle to provide enough diapers for their baby or toddler to be clean, dry and healthy. Announcing this initiative while presenting the Peter J. Larkin Award for Community Service is fitting, as it’s just another example of independent grocers helping the community. We are excited about this partnership with NGA and their members and look forward to seeing the positive impact this program has on the community.”

Click here for a photo of the award presentation last night at The NGA Show. 

Nominations are now open for 2022 – click here to learn more.

About NGA

Washington, D.C.-based NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit