October 13, 2023 - During National Hispanic Heritage Month, Ahold Delhaize and its brands recognize the many contributions Hispanic Americans have made to the culture and achievements of the United States.
As food retailers, each of our U.S. brands celebrate Hispanic American’s incredible culinary traditions and continues to work with suppliers to offer customers authentic products from all over Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and South and Central America. This month is also a time to reflect on the important role Hispanic Americans play within each of our Ahold Delhaize U.S. brands and the communities each of them serves.
We recently spoke with Rosa Santiago, who works as Service Leader at Hannaford’s Waltham, Massachusetts store. When this native Puerto Rican is not leading her in-store team, she teaches English as a second language to other store associates and community members. Her warmth and desire to give back makes a huge difference for everyone she comes into contact with, leading coworkers to think of her as the “mom” of their work family. Rosa tells us what National Hispanic Heritage Month means to her, and how the Hannaford team lives out its values.
“To me, Hispanic Heritage Month means a lot. It is celebrating our roots. Involving others in our culture and learning from them. It’s also an honor to be recognized for what we are and where we come from.” Rosa believes that Hannaford can support and engage with the Hispanic community throughout the year by modeling an inclusive family. “To me, the most important part is that Hannaford becomes a family. It is open to our cultural ideas and necessities. I’ve been very fortunate to end up in a company that really cares about people and about family.”
Rosa was inspired to teach English to her colleagues and the store’s customers by seeing the difficulties others in her community have experienced coming to this country. She said she gets the most satisfaction from sharing what she’s learned to help others take advantage of the same opportunities she gained when coming to the United States. “I make all this happen by offering my time and what I know to make it happen for them.”
Rosa sees supplier diversity as a way to share her culture with others – something she finds incredibly important. “I’m very fortunate to be part of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and sharing my ideas of the culture. I love being part of the key to the celebration.” For Rosa, it all comes back to family, learning about each other and respecting each other’s heritage – and that’s how she believes we can mark Hispanic Heritage month in a meaningful and inclusive way: “Involving everyone and making them part of my culture. Sharing respect and dignity for their culture. Everyone together becomes one whole culture and one whole family.”