Did you know that people who have close relationships at home, work, or in their community tend to be healthier and live longer? One reason, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is that we’re more successful at meeting our health goals when we work on them with others. NHLBI launched the #OurHearts movement to inspire us to protect and strengthen our hearts with the support of others.

Here are some facts, how-to tips, and resources to inspire you to join with others, even if you can’t be physically together, to improve your heart health.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Most middle-aged and young adults have one or more risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or being a smoker or overweight. Having multiple risk factors increases your risk for heart disease.

Why Connecting is Good for Your Heart

Feeling connected with others and having positive, close relationships benefit our overall health, including our blood pressure and weight. Having people in our lives who motivate and care for us helps, as do feelings of closeness and companionship.

Follow these heart-healthy lifestyle tips to protect your heart. It will be easier and more successful if you work on them with others, including by texting or phone calls if needed.

  • Be more physically active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat a nutritious diet.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep.
  • Track your heart health stats.

You don’t have to make big changes all at once. Small steps will get you where you want to go.

Move more

Invite family, friends, colleagues, or members of your community to join you in your efforts to be more physically active:

  • Ask a colleague to walk “with you” on a regular basis, put the date on both your calendars, and text or call to make sure you both get out for a walk.
  • Get a friend or family member to sign up for the same online exercise class, such as a dance class. Make it a regular date!
  • Grab your kids, put on music, and do jumping jacks, skip rope, or dance in your living room or yard.


How much is enough? Aim for at least 2½ hours of physical activity each week—that’s just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. In addition, do muscle strengthening exercises 2 days a week. Can’t carve out a lot of time in your day? Don’t chuck your goal, chunk it! Try 10 or 15 minutes a few times a day. NHLBI’s Move More fact sheet has ideas to get and keep you moving. 

Eat heart-healthy

We tend to eat like our friends and family, so ask others close to you to join in your effort to eat healthier. Together, try NHLBI’s free Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan. Research shows that, compared to a typical American diet, it lowers high blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels. Find delicious recipes at NHLBI’s Heart-Healthy Eating web page or check out the “Meals Made Well” section of the ShopRite Recipe Shop on the ShopRite app or ShopRite.com.

Quit smoking

To help you quit, ask others for support or join an online support group. Research shows that people are much more likely to quit if their spouse, friend, or sibling does. Social support online can help you quit.   All states have quit lines with trained counselors—call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). You’ll find many free resources to help you quit, such as apps, a motivational text service, and a chat line at BeTobaccoFree.hhs.gov and Smokefree.gov.

If you need extra motivation to quit, consider those around you: Breathing other people’s smoke, called secondhand smoke, is dangerous. Many adult nonsmokers die of stroke, heart disease, and lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke.

Manage stress

Reducing stress helps your heart health. Set goals with a friend or family member to do a relaxing activity every day, like walking, yoga, or meditation, or participate in an online stress-management program together. Physical activity also helps reduce stress. Talk to a qualified mental health provider or someone else you trust.

Improve sleep

Sleeping 7–8 hours a night helps to improve heart health. De-stressing will help you sleep, as does getting a 30-minute daily dose of sunlight. Take a walk instead of a late afternoon nap! Family members and friends: remind each other to turn off the screen and stick to a regular bedtime. Instead of looking at your phone or the TV before bed, relax by listening to music, reading, or taking a bath.

Track Your Heart Health Stats, Together

Keeping a log of your blood pressure, weight goals, physical activity, and if you have diabetes, your blood sugars, will help you stay on a heart-healthy track. Ask your friends or family to join you in the effort. Check out NHLBI’s Healthy Blood Pressure for Healthy Hearts: Tracking Your Numbers worksheet.

Visit #OurHearts for inspiration on what others around the country are doing together for their heart health. Then join the #OurHearts movement and let NHLBI know what you’re doing to have a healthy heart. Tag #OurHearts to share how you and your family and friends are being heart healthy.



We encourage our Village Family members to wear red from Sunday 2/20 through Saturday 2/26 to raise awareness for National Heart Month.  If you have a photo or recipe you’d like to share with us, please do so in the Media Upload Center.


First, we’d like to thank you for everything you have done over the last year to protect yourselves during the pandemic. Your vigilance in following our safety protocols, wearing masks properly, and staying socially distant is the best way to keep each other safe. Our top priority is always Associate and customer safety as COVID continues to be a challenge for our communities.

Vaccine administration is underway and we’re committed to keeping you updated on how Village is working with our national, state and local leaders to administer vaccines and how it impacts you, and in particular when vaccinations may be available to our Village family.

As of April 19th, everyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Halloween should be all about celebrating with spooky, fun activities! Trick or treating is a tradition that is enjoyed by many people!

Here are a few tips to balance your sweet tooth on Halloween, if you plan to go trick or treating:

  1. Eat a meal or snack before going trick or treating! This will prevent you and your family from overeating candy while you are out celebrating.
  2. Walk house to house instead of driving. Adding in some exercise will help burn a few extra calories and give you energy to stop at a few extra houses!
  3. Portion out candy to make it last! Let each of your family members choose 1-2 pieces of candy per day (after Halloween). This is a great way to make the candy last while also still being able to enjoy each piece.

For a fun, festive activity you can make at home with the family, check out this recipe for Frankenguac! This would be a perfect, filling snack to have with some corn tortilla chip[s before you head out to trick or treat.

Servings: 4

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chopped avocado
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon original mild taco sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 (¼-inch-thick) slices cremini mushroom
  • 1 pitted black olive, halved crosswise
  • 2 cups blue corn tortilla chips


  1. In small bowl, mash avocado, lime juice and 1/8 teaspoon salt with fork.
  2. Place taco sauce and yogurt in 2 separate small zip-top plastic bags; snip bottom corner of each bag.
  3. On serving platter, spread avocado mixture into a 5 x 6-inch rectangle. Place 1 mushroom slice toward bottom of each side of rectangle for “bolts.” Pipe yogurt on avocado mixture to make 2 “eyeballs;” place olive halves on “eyeballs” for “pupils.” Pipe taco sauce on avocado mixture to make “mouth” and “stitches.”

For more fun recipe inspiration, visit The Recipe Shop on ShopRite.com.
Our Village Nutrition team is always available for suggestions, recipe inspiration and consultations for associates. Please email us at VillageNutritionTeam@wakefern.com for more information!

Remember, whenever you wear a mask, you’re telling the people around you, “I wear my mask over my nose and mouth because I care about you.”

Because up to 40% of those who have the coronavirus may not show symptoms of any kind, you can spread the virus to your loved ones without even knowing it.

At Village we are a family, and we care about each other and the communities we serve. Show your fellow co-workers and community how much you care, wear your mask over your nose and mouth at all times.


Let’s work together as a team

Have you heard of the “mask gesture”? It’s the international symbol for “pull up your mask”. It’s a no-contact and no-words-exchanged way to signal to someone that their mask is not on correctly. To do it, put your hand 5” in front of your mask, and then move your hand from mouth to nose.

Can we all commit to work as a team and hold our Village family accountable to caring?


The Science is Sound

There are some people who doubt the effectiveness of masks, but the experts agree; the CDC, the Surgeon General, and the Health Departments of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland are unanimous in the assertion that wearing masks save lives by limiting the spread of the coronavirus.


The Business Community Agrees

Our competitors and other businesses are implementing nationwide mask mandates, regardless of whether or not the area they operate in requires it. The list of chains requiring masks is large and growing:



Sam’s Club



Whole Foods






Trader Joe’s



Apple Store


Best Buy








Rite Aid




Bed Bath & Beyond

Dollar Tree

American Eagle


Home Depot

Office Depot

Panera Bread



Planet Fitness



Most Americans “Get It”

The majority of Americans trust our experts, too! Public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of a nationwide mask mandate, with 82% of respondents in favor in a recent survey. We consistently receive compliments from our customers on the extent of our COVID safety measures and they make a point to let us know that we put them at ease when they shop our stores.


It’s a great relief to be able to do all my grocery shopping at a store that takes all pandemic precautions so seriously.  From the front door to the isles to the registers I feel safe and secure with your prevention and care.



With the rise in coronavirus rates nationwide and the weariness people are feeling with constant mask usage, tensions are on the rise. We want to take this time to thank you again for the continued vigilance you’re showing in our stores by adhering to our mask, hygiene, and social distancing policies. It’s not easy to be consistent and you’re showing your communities how it should be done!


My husband and I would like to commend on this ShopRite for a job well done during the pandemic. They were very organized and In our opinion went above and beyond to keep their customers informed and safe. 



It’s Part of Our New Normal

Like it or not, the virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Masks are part of our new normal, and some are handling it better than others…







Interested in More?

Your nose is probably under-appreciated for all the work that it does; it helps you to taste food, filter air, protect you from illness, as well as humidifying and regulating the temperature of the air that you breathe. Your sense of smell is also the only sense that’s directly linked to the formation and processing of memories!

Remember this?

It’s more important than ever to follow, as new research has emerged to help us better understand the role of the nose in preventing the spread of the virus. You’ve probably seen people wearing their masks pulled down so it only covers their mouth (and possibly done it yourself from time to time). A new study published in the scientific journal Cell shows how this defeats the point of wearing a mask even more than you might think.

This study identified the different parts of the respiratory tract where the coronavirus multiplies and spreads, and they found that the cells lining the inside of your nose are significantly more likely to become infected and shed virus compared to the throat or lungs.

Scientists also found the virus doesn’t get to the lungs through the blood or the respiratory tract, but rather through infected nasal secretions after you’ve come in contact with the virus.  Click here to watch a CBS news story that summarizes the findings.

Simply put, someone who is sick is more likely to spread the virus by breathing out of their nose than if they were breathing out of their mouth, and you are more likely to be exposed to the virus through your nose than through your mouth. This is especially concerning because the virus can be spread even if there are no symptoms present.


This new study further proves that there is little point in wearing a mask at all if you’re not using it to cover your nose. We shouldn’t be wearing them just to go through the motions or because the rules say you have to — the spirit of the policy is to protect everyone around you, just as we would want everyone to do their best to protect us.

Essential workers like us are the best-trained and most knowledgeable frontline fighters against the virus. As the safety experts in our community, it’s imperative we act to protect others; if you see a fellow team member wearing their mask below their nose, send them a gentle reminder that wearing a mask that way is almost as bad as not wearing one at all.

Our top priority at Village Super Market, Inc. has always been the safety of our Associates and our customers. This has never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re committed to doing everything possible to protect our Associates and keep them informed about all developments regarding COVID-19.


We use CDC guidelines to guide our actions, and we’ve been ahead of the industry in implementing so many of the things you see in your stores today. We’ve spared no effort in combatting the coronavirus in the workplace:

On an hourly basis, Associates are disinfecting common touchpoints and work areas with Red Puroxcide, a virucide that is proven to destroy the coronavirus.

  • On an hourly basis, Associates are disinfecting common touchpoints and work areas with Red Puroxcide, an EPA approved virucide.
  • Each night, closing managers are disinfecting all food prep areas, bathrooms, and breakrooms with Red Puroxcide; our floor care company then comes at night to sanitize the store.
  • Twice weekly, each store undergoes a “fogging” service using Decon 30, another EPA approved virucide. We disinfect all high touch areas, prep surfaces, food areas, and carts. Even though the fogging protocol is designed for disinfecting a store after a confirmed positive COVID-19, we do this proactively twice a week to ensure the safety of our Associates and guests.
  • The Blue Squares for Social Distancing program allows customers and Associates to maintain six-foot distances from each other as recommended by the CDC.
  • We’ve implemented reduced occupancy procedures in our stores so we can all maintain this social distance, and we’ve limited the maximum number of people that can be in work areas to ensure our Associates are able to do this.
  • We’ve installed plexiglass shields at all registers, Guest Services, and Pharmacies to further protect our Associates when social distancing isn’t possible.
  • We have a robust temperature check procedure to ensure Associates and vendors aren’t showing symptoms when they arrive at work.
  • We provide masks, gloves, and face shields for our Associates and have a comprehensive protocol on usage and storage. Our vendors are also required to wear masks, and we require our customers to wear face coverings in order to enter the store.
  • Our Associates now have t-shirts that make it easy to ask our customers to “Please Stay Back” and respect your social distance! Don’t be afraid to politely ask them to give you space if they are inside of six feet.
  • We provide Red Puroxcide for our Associates to take home; you can use the same virucidal spray we use in our stores to protect your families!

We know that it’s difficult to wear a mask all day and to keep six feet away from all of our customers and co-workers. However, it’s the most effective tool we have in preventing the spread of the disease; many people who have coronavirus exhibit no symptoms but can still spread the virus to others. Wear the mask for the people around you that you care about, if not for yourself — wearing masks saves lives, and that’s no exaggeration. Don’t be exposed, wear your mask over your nose!


Ali and Laura Sumas have created a great video on the importance of proper mask usage, and who you’re really protecting by wearing them:

Our leadership team have also created a video about how to use your new t-shirts to tell customers to respect your space and give you six feet of room, for your safety and for theirs. You may see some people you know dancing to a familiar tune — check out the video!

In addition, we have several mechanisms of support that you can rely on; most of you are already aware of the Village Associate Care & Callout Line (1-888-504-0011) as a place you can turn to for guidance on and to speak about your concerns in the workplace. If you’re feeling anxious about coming to work, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us!

We’ve also created theVillage Care Connection Text System (844-551-7799) to provide our Associates with alerts regarding COVID-19, volunteer for cross-training or to work additional shifts, and to receive important updates about Village Super Market. Simply text your employee ID or badge number to this line and answer the questions when prompted. If you’d like further guidance, our Care & Callout Line representatives can help guide you.

What if someone in my store is diagnosed with COVID-19?

In the event that someone at your store is diagnosed, there’s no need to panic! Our procedure is guided by CDC recommendations and our safety procedures mean that there is minimal risk to our Associates. In the event of a diagnosis:


  • The Associate will not be allowed in the workplace until they have been cleared to do so.
  • We will notify any colleagues who may have been in close contact for a prolonged period of time, and are asking them to closely monitor their symptoms;
  • In addition to following CDC protocols, we’ll implement our own enhanced sanitation process that includes all workspaces used by the Associate and common areas.


Trust the process

Resist the urge to listen to rumors; they start easily when people are anxious and spread misinformation and panic which helps no one. In the event of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, our Care & Callout Center will notify your store immediately. Transparency is our policy because it promotes safety and trust — you should never forget that your safety is always our first priority.


Trust the protocol

You know about our rigorous disinfecting protocol that goes above and beyond the CDC’s recommendations for disinfecting our stores. We’ve adopted such a policy for exactly this type of scenario — we are continuously disinfecting our workspaces, public areas, restrooms, breakrooms, and high-touch places such as conveyor belts, credit card keypads, and shopping carts. We’ve also trained you on hygiene protocols, such as regular hand washing and coughing into your elbow, which are potent weapons against the virus. Due to these policies, our stores will have been cleaned multiple times by the time we receive confirmation of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Continue to practice the basics

The easiest steps are some of the most effective ones:

    • Wash your hands frequently, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
    • If you cough or sneeze, do it into your elbow and be sure to wash your hands.
    • Don’t touch your face; this is the primary way that viruses are transmitted.
    • Maintain a social distance of 6-feet, for your safety and for others.
    • If you’re sick, stay at home! Just call the Care & Callout Center (1-888-504-0011) and they will notify the store


Practice your compassion.

We’re proud of the amazing dedication to duty that our Associates are demonstrating and their commitment to keeping our stores safe for our customers and their fellow co-workers. We also must not forget to practice our compassion and kindness to each other and to those affected by illness because we’re all in this together. Please understand that your co-workers and customers may be anxious due to the ongoing pandemic, and we should do our best to practice patience and compassion. We’re all in this together!