Food Lion Earns Top Score in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2023-2024 Corporate Equality Index

Omnichannel Retailer Scores 100 for 14th Consecutive Year as Leader in LGBTQ+ Workplace Equality

SALISBURY, N.C., Nov. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Food Lion has once again earned a top score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2023-2024 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The CEI is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality and inclusion.

Food Lion is an omnichannel grocery retailer with more than 1,100 stores across 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Through its ‘Count on me’ culture, the company fosters a sense of belonging for 82,000 associates, promoting a diverse and inclusive environment.

"Food Lion is committed to creating a workplace where all associates find a sense of belonging,” said Linda Johnson, Chief Human Resources & Communications Officer, Food Lion. “Deliberate and relevant policies and practices reaffirm the importance of an inclusive environment. We are honored, once again, to be recognized as a leader for LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion. Our 82,000 associates represent the towns and cities we serve, and it is because of them that we are acknowledged for ongoing success in diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The CEI rates companies on detailed criteria in four central pillars:

  • Non-discrimination policies across business entities
  • Equitable benefits for LGBTQ+ workers and their families
  • Supporting an inclusive culture
  • Corporate social responsibility

Food Lion’s ongoing commitment in all four pillars earned the company a 100 rating and the designation as an Equality 100 Award winner.

“As an associate who has worked at Food Lion for many years, I see the positive and lasting impact that receiving a recognition like this has on associates, customers and our community members,” said Patrick Sullivan, Associate Relations Specialist, Food Lion. “And as the chairperson for the Friends Business Resource Group, a group of associates who ensure the organization’s commitment to LGBTQ+ equality is brought to life through its brand, strategy and culture, I am very proud that we have earned a perfect 100 for the past 14 years.”

“For well over two decades, businesses have played an important role in furthering LGBTQ+ equality by centering employee needs and voices when it comes to workplace inclusion. While there is much more work to be done, year-over-year growth in CEI participation is evidence of a business community that recognizes the responsibility and value in upholding equity and inclusion,” said RaShawn “Shawnie” Hawkins, Human Rights Campaign Senior Director of Workplace Equality. “Our goal at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation is to work in a spirit of partnership with companies, providing educational resources and leading benchmarking, and collaborating on ways for businesses to support the LGBTQ+ community at a time when we face unprecedented legislative attacks, heightened anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and physical violence. The CEI is an ever-evolving tool – a blueprint that companies can use to show up more effectively in supporting their LGBTQ+ employees and their families.”

The full report is available online at

About Food Lion
Food Lion is an omnichannel retailer committed to nourishing its neighbors during the moments that matter most. More than 82,000 associates across 1,100+ stores deliver an easy, fresh and affordable shopping experience throughout 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Through its ‘Count on me’ culture, Food Lion fosters a sense of belonging for all associates, promoting a diverse and inclusive environment that has supported LGBTQ+ equality for nearly two decades. Food Lion is the only company in the country to be named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for 22 consecutive years. It also pioneered a food rescue program to support food-insecure neighbors. Through Food Lion Feeds, the retailer has donated more than 1 billion meals to individuals and families since 2014 and has committed to donate 1.5 billion meals by 2025. Founded and based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, Food Lion is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA, the U.S. division of Zaandam-based Ahold Delhaize. For more information, visit

CONTACT:Food Lion Media Relations

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at