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PEOPLE magazine honors two retailers on inaugural Companies That Care list

PEOPLE magazine published its first 50 Companies That Care list to recognize U.S. companies with 1,000 or more employees that demonstrate respect, compassion and concern for their employees, their communities and the environment. Wegmans Food Markets ranked sixth on the list and Publix ranked ninth.

Wegmans Food Markets, a 92-store grocery chain on the East Coast, trains 15 “Project Search” job candidates per year, coaching them in developing skills and work habits, according to PEOPLE.

The magazine also said in 2015, 14.5 million pounds of food were “reclaimed” from stores and distributed to the community to feed the hungry, and the company raised $3 million at checkout registers for hunger relief.

In its write-up of Publix, PEOPLE said, "The company takes care of its communities through philanthropic efforts and the everyday heroics of its giving employees. Publix has a Publix Serves Day, and in 2015, 4,000 employees volunteered with more than 125 non-profits related to youth, education and the plight of the hungry/homeless."

The magazine also said Publix donated $1,085 per district to local causes — for a total of $121,000 donated that day — and the company donates food nearing its sell-by date — including produce — to food banks, who distribute the food to church groups and food pantries.

"It's so humbling that this recognition was based on feedback from Publix associates. Being a servant leader to our associates and our communities is part of what we pride ourselves on, so it's an honor to be recognized as a company that cares," Vice President of Human Resources Alison Midili Smith said in a press release.

PEOPLE magazine partnered with the Great Place to Work Institute to produce this list. Rankings are based on employees' responses to survey questions asking them to rate how their companies treat them on a day-to-day basis. Rankings also take into account employees' personal stories about the difference their workplaces have made in their lives and in their communities — and the generosity of their organization's benefits, financial donations and volunteerism.

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