Grocer Establishes Racial Equality Grant In Honor Of 101-Year-Old Employee

When someone has lived for 100 years, it tends to be pretty easy to believe them when they tell you they've seen it all.

Although the world seems to be moving faster and faster all the time, a century gives someone more than enough time to see some of its most fundamental changes several times over. But while it can be staggering to realize how many eras began and ended while a centenarian looked on, it's even more impressive to find someone who pioneered some of those changes.

And when one grocery chain became aware that they had precisely this kind of person working for them, they saw an opportunity to honor her in a fitting way.

Around the time that some of our grandparents were born, 101-year-old Romay Davis was already making history.

As Bloomberg reported, she was not only deployed overseas during World War II, but served in the first all-Black Women Army Corps the American military had ever seen.

And she continued to build quite the impressive resume after the war as well.

According to Good Morning America, she found herself in New York City, where she would spend the next 30 years making her mark as both a fashion designer and model.

Along the way, she also found time to earn a master's degree and a black belt in Taekwondo.

Although Davis retired from the fashion world in 1982, she decided to enter the workforce again after her husband passed away in 2001.

So at the age of 80, she was hired that same year by the Winn-Dixie grocery chain and as Good Morning America reported, she still continues to drive herself to her store every day even after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before that started to ravaged the world, however, the grocer threw a special event to celebrate her 100th birthday in October of 2019.

And last year, Winn-Dixie's parent company Southeastern Grocers found a way to honor her continued service when her 101st birthday rolled around.

According to Bloomberg, they established the Romay Davis Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity Grant Program that offers financial support to nonprofit organizations working to foster racial equality and social justice.

In 2020, the grant program contributed funds to nine groups seeking to address inequality in education, health care, and food insecurity.

And for all of Black History Month, each of the store chains under Southeastern Grocers' umbrella are doing their part to promote the grant program.

As Bloomberg reported, employees were tasked with encouraging customers to round up their grocery bills when they check out and support the fund with the difference.

For their part, Southeastern Grocers made a $100,000 donation to the total raised by this campaign.

In the words of the company's CEO Anthony Hucker, "As we celebrate Ms. Romay, we are moved by her unwavering dedication and strong work ethic, which inspires others to be their best."

h/t: Good Morning America, Bloomberg

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