The Asparagus Club was founded in 1909 to generate a spirit of cooperation and fellowship among members of the grocery industry. It is affiliated with the National Grocers Association and has sought to unite all segments of the grocery industry – retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and state and national trade association executives.
The purpose of the scholarship is to enhance the future of the grocery industry by investing in the education of young people who are pursuing a career in the industry, especially the independent community-focused retail and wholesale sector. The grocery industry is the world’s largest industry, employing three out of every ten people who work in the United States. The three major areas of food distribution are retailing, wholesaling and processing/manufacturing.
The wide selection of challenging career opportunities offered in the grocery industry include supermarket management and ownership, convenience store management, advertising and public relations, computer technology, food safety, consumer affairs, food plant management, purchasing management, financial planning and traffic management.
Each year, subject to availability of funds, up to ten scholarships are awarded to rising full time juniors, seniors or graduate students pursuing a degree in business, food management or another relevant course of study leading to a career in the grocery industry, with preference given to the independent retail and wholesale sector. Each scholarship award is $2,000 per semester (Fall and Spring only) for a maximum of four semesters. Each year, the student deemed to be the most meritorious by the Scholarship Advisory Committee will be chosen as the Thomas K. Zaucha Asparagus Club Scholar and will receive an extra $500 per semester in the first year of his/her scholarship award.
Scholarship awards shall be used toward the following, in order of priority: tuition and fees; books and supplies; room and board; and commuting expenses up to fifty dollars per month. To maintain the scholarship, each recipient must maintain full time status as an undergraduate or graduate student and must earn a minimum 2.5 GPA per semester/quarter. Students must provide the Foundation with an official transcript and proof of full time enrollment every semester to receive payment.
In making its decision, the Scholarship Advisory Committee shall use the following criteria:
A) Quality of letter of recommendation from a professor relative to the applicant’s pursuit of a career in the grocery industry
B) Quality of personal statement and resume
D) If applicable, job experience in the grocery industry and letter of recommendation from a professional in the industry who can speak to the applicant’s interest and experience