Food City kicks off School Bucks program

Betsi JamesOur Town Eats

Each year, Food City’s School Bucks program provides much-needed educational tools and equipment to participating schools throughout the supermarket retailer’s market area. Food City is currently mailing out contribution checks from its 2021-2022 program.

“The past couple of years have certainly been challenging for our area schools. They need our support now more than ever, and we are proud to be distributing $700,000 in contributions from (last year’s) program,” says Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.

Food City contributes $700,000 each school year to more than a thousand participating area schools. The 2022-2023 School Bucks program will run from September 7, 2022, through May 9, 2023. For every dollar Food City shoppers spend using their ValuCard, they will receive one School Bucks point. Customers can visit to link their Food City ValuCard to the participating school of their choice. School allocations are based on the percentage of customer purchases assigned to each participating school. Schools can monitor their progress online at

“Food City is committed to supporting the education of our youth. Since the program’s inception, we have awarded more than $21.4 million in much-needed educational tools and equipment,” says Smith.

Food City strives to offer support for kids at school and home. Recent studies have demonstrated that food choices affect students’ thinking skills, behavior and health, all factors impacting academic performance. Food City recognizes that between school, work and everyday happenings, planning and executing nutritious meals can seem like a daunting task. By offering simple meal and snack solutions in-store, Food City supports offering optimal nutrition to children at home.

Most kids are not consuming enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy, which means missing essential nutrients. To close the nutrition gap, aim to offer more well-rounded meals and snacks at home. Try out some simple kid-approved snacks like homemade trail mix, including nuts, dried fruit, whole-grain pretzels or cereal; try fresh fruit paired with cheese and whole grain crackers; or mini hummus cups and veggie dippers; even a yogurt parfait topped with fruit, nuts or granola.

Explore these meal and shopping solutions to relieve some of the stress of the school year.

Food City grows again

Food City officials announced plans to acquire the Cooke’s family of stores in the Greater Cleveland (Bradley County) market area. The stores range in size from 15,000 to 35,000 sq. ft., and include five Fresh n’ Low locations, as well as the Cooke’s Food Store and Pharmacy:

Steven Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer, said the company will make “some large investments” in the area and hopes to retain the vast majority of current employees. He expects the purchase to close by October 1, 2022.

The Cooke’s chain was founded in 1936 and has been owned and operated by family members through four generations.

Dan Cooke said, “On behalf of the entire family, we thank the Cleveland community, our customers, and our employees for your loyalty and support. It has been a privilege to serve you for the past 86 years. We are grateful that our employees will have the opportunity to continue our commitment to the community.”

Betsi James is special events manager for Food City’s Knoxville and Chattanooga divisions. BMS and Food City’s corporate office contributed to this report.


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