RoNetco Supermarkets Honored with Peter J. Larkin Community Service Award 

Las Vegas, NV –  The National Grocers Association (NGA) honored New Jersey-based grocery retailer RoNetco Supermarkets Inc. ShopRite with this year’s Peter J. Larkin Community Service Award, sponsored by Kimberly-Clark, during the Opening Session of the 2024 NGA Show, Sunday, March 10, at the Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas.

RoNetco Supermarkets encompasses nine ShopRite locations owned and operated by the Romano family, which has maintained deep ties to the communities they serve for many years.

In 2023, the company’s stores raised more than $141,000 during the ShopRite Partners in Caring Campaign, a cooperative-wide annual initiative to raise awareness around food insecurity. The company’s activities included in-store food drives, volunteer days for employees to work at local food pantries, Help Bag Hunger events with community leaders, a bake sale and other in-store fundraisers to raise awareness. The company matched donations with a $30,000 gift to a local food bank.

“The Romano family and the RoNetco ShopRite team exemplify unwavering dedication to supporting the most vulnerable in our communities. Their extensive list of contributions speaks volumes about their commitment to service,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO.

RoNetco’s commitment to ending hunger continues throughout the year, where stores raised another $55,000 in November and December though the Check Out Hunger Campaign, enough to provide more than 165,000 meals to neighbors in need. Each week, a RoNetco van picks up bread and other baked goods from stores and delivers them to 19 regional food pantries.

The company supports a Stuff the Bus campaign the week before Thanksgiving to support the Sussex County Social Services Food Pantry, filling five full buses of food and goods in 2023.

The Romano family’s community support extends to countless other charities ranging from blood drives to Hope One, a mobile outreach program by the Morris County Sheriff’s office to support community members with addiction, recovery and mental health services. 

The creation of the Larkin award, sponsored by Kimberly-Clark Corp., was announced during the 2019 NGA Show to recognize an independent retailer or wholesaler company for their unique and strong service to the community.

“I’m honored to congratulate RoNetco Supermarkets as the recipient of this year’s Peter Larkin Community Service Award for its commitment to hunger-related initiatives and far-reaching support to its communities,” said Denny Belcastro, Kimberly-Clark Corporation vice president of industry affairs and customer development. “Kimberly-Clark is proud to continue supporting such an important award.”

Belcastro also announced the continuation of Kimberly-Clark’s partnership with NGA member retailers to donate diapers for needy families to the National Diaper Bank Network, established by Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies brand in 2011. Since then, the network has contributed more than 250 million diapers to more than 200 banks across the country, serving more han 225,000 children each month.

“In concert with Kimberly-Clark’s ‘Better Care for a Better World’ commitment, we are honored to collaborate with the National Grocers Association and its independent retailer members to donate Huggies diapers and wipes to the National Diaper Bank to help families with baby diapering needs. Far too many parents struggle to provide enough diapers for their baby or toddler,” Belcastro said.

Nominations will soon be open for next year’s award – learn more here.  

Also on Sunday, recipients of NGA’s Creative Choice Awards for outstanding marketing and merchandising were recognized during a Sunday afternoon “Snack and See” session featuring refreshments provided by award sponsors Kellanova and Unilever.

Representatives from the winning grocers shared insights behind their successful campaigns in panel discussions led by the session emcee, celebrity chef Curtis Aikens.

The winners by popular online vote of the Outstanding Marketer and Merchandiser were also announced during this session. With more than 1,000 total votes cast, Michigan-based SpartanNash emerged as the Outstanding Marketer for its Connections Through Omnichannel entry, 2023 Influencer League, while Hired Man’s Grocery and Grill in Conway Springs, Kan., was selected as the Outstanding Merchandiser for its Candy Corn Brats in the Local, Specialty or Emerging Products category. 

A complete list of this year’s Creative Choice honorees can be found here.

For more than 30 years, The NGA Show has been the place where independent grocers gather, connecting supermarket retailers and wholesalers, food manufacturers and service providers from around the world to share innovative solutions and best practices that support and strengthen the independent supermarket channel. The NGA Show is produced and managed by Clarion Events as part of the Food & Beverage Group, in partnership with the National Grocers Association (NGA). For more information and to register, visit

Clarion Events produces 37 events across 13 sectors of both trade and consumer events. Clarion Events, which is the U.S. division of Clarion Events UK and backed by The Blackstone Group, has become one of the fastest-growing event companies in the U.S. with aggressive growth through both acquisition and launch. Clarion acquired PennWell in early 2018, bringing four Tradeshow 200 events into the U.S. portfolio and supercharging the already rapid growth. Clarion Events has offices in Shelton, Conn.; Tulsa, OK; and Fairlawn, N.J.

The National Grocers Association  (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.