Schnucks Press Releases
Media Contacts :
Lori Willis
Schnuck Markets, Inc

Date : July 11, 2008

Schnucks Kicks Off Associate Wellness Program

Steps to the Olympics 

ST. LOUIS – On Monday, July 14, just weeks before the start of the 2008 Olympics Games in Bejing, China, Schnucks will hold its own Opening Ceremony for “Steps to the Olympics,” a company-sponsored fitness program.  Associate teams will gather outside the Schnucks Corporate office (11420 Lackland Road, 63146) at NOON to formally kick-off the health and wellness challenge. 

According to Schnucks Chairman and CEO Scott Schnuck, captain of his family’s walking team, all 15,500 Schnucks and Logli (Rockford) stores have been invited to participate.  “We have about 170 teams signed up now, and we expect more to jump on board.  For six weeks, we will record our steps as we walk, jog and bike the estimated 13.5 million steps that will, theoretically, take us to Bejing,” said Schnuck.  “The step program is a great kick-off for our on-going health and wellness initiative and a fun way to raise awareness of the need to make healthier life choices.”

Schnucks received support in the development of its program from the staff at BJC HealthCare, a St. Louis-based not-for-profit health care provider that encourages companies to provide on-site employee health, fitness and wellness programs as one way to combat rising health care costs.

BJC Executive Director of Health Literacy Kathleen Killion will be on hand for the kick off.  She has worked closely with the grocery company for the past few years and is pleased the program is being kicked off in such a creative manner.  “From our experience, the best way to get people to make health improvement a priority is to provide them with the tools and the information to make necessary changes and to make it fun. Schnucks is doing just that.”

Olympic hurdler and silver medalist Greg Foster will make a special appearance.  Foster, a member of the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, will don a pedometer and help get the walkers started.

“Our aim is to help improve the quality of life of our associates and their families and promote behavior that will benefit us all down the road,” said Schnuck.  “Like every employer, we continue to feel the impact of rising health care costs.  While there is no immediate cure for our ailing health care system, we hope that, over time, we can reduce the need for emergency medical intervention and long-term treatments through preventative checkups and healthier lifestyles among our associates.”  Schnucks says that the knowledge his teams gain will also be shared with customers over time.

“BJC’s guidance has been invaluable to us as we have worked to provide our associates with the most up-to-date nutritional and fitness information available to us,” said Schnuck.  “Earlier messages were focused on making healthier choices at the grocery store and when dining out.  Now, it’s time for us all to get moving!”

Schnucks Director of Benefits Ed Keady says, “By our calculations, the distance from the Schnucks Lackland office to Beijing, China is about 6,750 miles or 13.5 million steps for one walker.  We thought the team approach might be a bit more practical! Our associates have signed on to teams of between 25 and 60 people, all hoping they can log enough steps to get to the Olympics, and possibly back, in six weeks.” 

“We’ve provided each associate with a pedometer, an exercise conversion chart and a log sheet for reporting step totals.  All teams will be tracked on an intranet map of the route.” said Keady.  “Additionally, walkers can receive extra credit for adding more fruits and vegetables to their diets in accordance with the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s ‘More Matters’ program for healthier eating.”

Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. operates 103 stores (including five Logli stores) and 100 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee and Mississippi.