Andrew P. Klein, president of Harford County based Klein's ShopRite of Maryland, and Marshall J. Klein, vice-president of operations of Klein's ShopRite, were recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony on Wednesday, July 20.
The two Harford County businessmen joined Mrs. Obama in celebrating nationwide commitments from major food retailers to open grocery stores that provide healthy, affordable food to millions of people who live in areas that do not have easy access to fresh, nutritious food.
One of the grocery stores reflecting this initiative is a new Klein's ShopRite under development in Howard Park in northwest Baltimore, near the intersection of Northern Parkway and Liberty Road. The store will be the first in an urban setting for the Klein family, whose stores can be found around Harford County and also in nearby Jacksonville inBaltimore County.
It was to commemorate the development of the Howard Park store and more like it across the country that the Kleins and other retailers were honored by Mrs. Obama, the Kleins said in a news release.
"The commitments you are all making today have the potential to be a 'game-changer'," Mrs. Obama told the group. "Parents should have fresh food retailers right in their communities — places that sell healthy food at reasonable prices!"
"Lack of access to fresh food has been a silent problem for years," Marshall Klein said at the ceremony. "It is one of the single largest factors determining family health, and the Klein family is excited to be a part of the effort in helping to make a difference."
Across the country, 23.5 million Americans – including 6.5 million children – live in underserved communities that do not have readily obtainable fresh foods at reasonable prices. Mrs. Obama will be making special announcements in support of significant expansion of access to healthy and affordable food in these areas as part of her "Let's Move" campaign.
According to the company, the new Klein's ShopRite will be a state-of-the-art grocery store, and will feature several new innovations in healthy foods, including a culturally inspired International Foods department, a health clinic, a social services office and a fully-staffed pharmacy. It is expected to bring 275 new jobs to its community, while serving a population of 75,000 who live near the store.
Klein's ShopRite of Maryland is headquartered in Forest Hill, and operates six ShopRite supermarkets in Harford County and one inBaltimore County.
The family-owned business was founded in 1925 in Fallston. Andrew Klein and Marshall Klein are the grandson and great-grandson, respectively, of the founder, Maurice Klein, and several members of the fourth generation of the Klein family are operating the family business. Klein's ShopRite at the Festival at Bel Air recently inaugurated "ShopRite from Home," the first Harford County-based on-line and phone-in grocery ordering and delivery service.
Klein's ShopRite is a member of the Wakefern Food Corporation, the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. Founded in 1946, the cooperative is comprised of 47 members who individually own and operate more than 230 supermarkets under the ShopRite banner in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.