It's that time of year again! Food Lion has kicked off its 2015 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) sponsorship for the 21st consecutive year.
The CIAA is the oldest African-American athletic conference in the nation, consisting of 12 historically black colleges and universities from North Carolina to Pennsylvania. Food Lion serves many of the same communities as these schools.
"What I love about this partnership is that it goes well beyond athletics, with a shared commitment to education, health and wellness, and diversity and inclusion," said Food Lion President Meg Ham.
To honor and support CIAA students, fans and customers, Food Lion will provide scholarships and sponsored activities during this year’s tournament. Since 2003, Food Lion has donated more than $3.5 million towards scholarships at CIAA member schools and have also employed CIAA students in retail stores as well as alumni through the grocer's Retail Management Trainee Program.
“Food Lion is honored to be a part of the CIAA’s 2015 tournament to show our continued support for our communities surrounding the 12 CIAA schools,” said Dave Bass, division vice president for Food Lion’s Central Division. "Our company has been an official corporate sponsor of the CIAA for 21 years. Through this partnership, Food Lion has been able to employ many CIAA students and alumni at its stores, which are in close proximity of CIAA colleges and universities. We invite all who are planning to attend this year’s event to celebrate with us.”
To celebrate the kick-off, on Feb. 19, Food Lion partnered with Johnson C. Smith University to open one of the first student pantries at a CIAA school. The company will partner with an additional CIAA school this week to open another pantry. The opening of both CIAA college pantries are part of the grocer's commitment to end hunger in its local communities through Food Lion Feeds by donating 500 million meals across its operating footprint by the end of 2020.
By serving as a corporate CIAA partner and the only retail grocer partner, Food Lion will again serve as the title sponsor for the 2015 Food Lion CIAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Time Warner Cable Arena Feb. 24-28.
Food Lion is also sponsoring many family-friendly activities during the week, including:
Feb. 26 & 27:Food Lion Chef Challenge: Fans will have a chance to enjoy Food Lion Chef Challenge cooking demonstrations from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Feb. 26 and 27, as well as noon to 8 p.m. on Feb. 28. The events will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center. Food Lion will also have taste challenges between private brand and national brand items at the events.
Feb. 27:Food Lion Day at the CIAA:Food Lion invites its customers and fans to participate in Food Lion Day at the CIAA on Friday, Feb. 27 at the Time Warner Cable Arena. The all-day event will feature interactive games, premium giveaways and Food Lion’s scholarship check presentations.
Feb. 28:Food Lion Miss CIAA Competition:Food Lion will officially crown Miss CIAA 2015 and present scholarships to the winner and first and second runner-ups on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 11 a.m. on the main court inside the Time Warner Cable Arena. There will be opportunities for media to interview the winner after the crowning. The twelve contestants include:
All events are free for attendees, excluding the basketball tournament games. For more information about Food Lion-sponsored activities during this year’s tournament, visit http://www.foodlion.com/ciaachefchallenge.