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associate safety & well-being

  • We aspire to be a great place to work at all career and life stages, and are investing to create a culture of well-being where associates are supported to thrive inside and outside of the workplace. We're now focusing on five interconnected areas of well-being that help prioritize the unique needs and experiences of every associate. We believe they are all baseline essentials that our associates deserve as human beings. 

How is this better for all?


    Keeping our associates safe and providing benefits, fair pay, and labor stability that support their mental and physical health.


    Contributing to the long-term well-being and livelihood of our communities through holistic care for our associates, their families, and loved ones. 


    Demonstrating the interconnectedness of safety, human rights, economic opportunity and societal well-being and contributing to safer and healthier global populations.

Our Approach

We’re aiming to support and nurture our associates with an array of innovative, easy to access initiatives. Because of the multi-faceted nature of well-being, intentional cross-functional collaboration helps us to continuously review our policies, benefits, and other offerings through an equity lens.


    We believe generous and comprehensive health, dental, and vision benefits are the baseline for taking care of associates and their families, and we consistently review and enhance the plans we offer. We also have programs available to help associates make educated decisions when choosing a provider, resulting in savings for them on medical, surgical and prescription costs, as well as convenient biometric screenings and vaccination clinics at a number of locations. Associates and their families now have unlimited, confidential access to experienced personal health advisors in multiple languages. 


    Safety will always be one of our core values – and our goal is for every associate to arrive home safely at the end of every day. It is critical that we not only have clear facility and fleet protocols, but also that everyone is empowered to be a leader in safety, both inside and outside of the workplace. We are proud of our safety record, high safety ratings, and awards, but we will always strive to improve our protocols at every turn and continuously strive for zero accidents and injuries in our workplace and on the roads – going well beyond what’s legally required of us. The success of our safety programs is built on the foundation of effective governance and management systems, thorough training, clear communications, and frequent audits – both internal and external. Despite the added challenges and uncertainty posed by the pandemic, we’re very proud of the way our associates keep rising to the occasion on behalf of the communities we serve.


    • Medical
    • Dental
    • Vision
    • Vaccinations
    • Biometric Screenings
    • Health Advocate
    • Healthy Pursuits
    • Every Moment Matters
  • Back of UNFI warehouse worker in safety vest with the words "Every Moment Matters" printed on back.
    UNFI Every Moment Matters Logo

    “We believe every decision makes a difference. We believe one moment can save a life. We believe what matters most is that everyone gets home safe. We believe Every Moment Matters."

Our mission of delivering healthy food to more people has brought us an exceptional team of dedicated and like-minded associates – and we don’t take them for granted. Our thankU associate recognition program is intended to celebrate our associates that work in our facilities and distribution centers and make our associates feel appreciated for all of the hard work they put in toward advancing UNFI’s values and mission. 

  • To hold onto the best of the best in this competitive market, it’s essential that we support a culture that reflects diverse backgrounds and meets the personal and professional needs of each and every one of our associates. That begins by offering spaces to connect and learn about one another – we also embed Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in existing trainings to make them more accessible and more easily accomplished, and to demonstrate the importance of belonging in all facets of our organization. We believe every level of the organization can benefit from further education. 

    We also prioritize the emotional well-being of our associates by offering free, confidential, and professional counseling services for associates and members of their household. 


    • ComPsych Employee Assistance 
    • Calm Sleep & Meditation App 
    • Fresh Perspectives Series 
    • Real Talk Discussions 
    • UNFILTERED Podcast 
    • Inclusion 101 Training 
    • thankU Appreciation Hub 
    • Service Awards 
    • Circle of Excellence Program 
  • Two office workers in meeting room

With more jobs available across all sectors, wages are rising and job seekers have options. We haven’t been exempt from the repercussions of current labor market conditions, especially when it comes to open roles, turnover, and retention of our warehouse and driver associates. We’re keeping a constant eye on the labor market and continue to look for ways to improve the work environment for our associates and be an employer of choice. 

  • We have and will continue to increase distribution center associate wages to differentiate UNFI from competitors, attract and retain a sustainable workforce, and strengthen our ability to win in the marketplace. 


    • Pay/Performance Bonuses   
    • Auto Deposit into Pay Card 
    • 401K Savings & Company Match 
    • Health & Flexible Savings Accounts 
    • Easy Options Discount Program 
    • UNFI Assist Relief Fund 
    • Early Access
  • warehouse worker using time clock device on wall

Retaining talent also means equipping and preparing our associates to lead through tomorrow’s challenges. Associates have access to our dynamic BetterU career development platform, which leverages best practices in adult-learning science and the latest research to ensure our programs deliver timely and relevant tools and skills. The platform now houses our learning content on DEI, safety, harassment, and more, and facilitates quarterly performance check-ins with a place to document and review development goals.

  • These development opportunities also carry offline with access to programs like Warehouse to Wheels, which empowers associates to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) free of charge, tuition stipends for continued learning, and more.


    • Warehouse to Wheels
    • Resources in English and Spanish
    • GED Support
    • Emerge New Leader Training
    • Evolve Mid-Level Leader Development
    • Elevate Executive Development
    • BetterU Modules
    • Operations Leadership Academy

Sometimes, the best resource we can give is time. Work-life balance is one of the gap areas that our associates voiced in our annual Your Voice. Our Future. Associate Engagement Survey, and we’re taking that to heart.

  • We try to encourage work-life balance by allowing our associates to pick shifts that align better with their personal schedules, adding paid time for associates to engage in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion activities and Better for All initiatives, offering additional support and services for working parents, and more.


    • Parental Leave
    • Paid Time Off
    • Bright Horizons
    • FlexShift
    • UConnect
    • Belonging and Inclusion Groups
    • Better for All Time Policy
  • UNFI associates dressed in UNFI rainbow PRIDE t-shirts attending Pride festival in Minneapolis

Recent Progress

Our associates have given us clear feedback that we need to do more to support their well-being, and we’ve not only taken that to heart, but also completely revamped our approach as a result. We hope this makes our programs clearer and easier to digest.  

The Golden Bridge Business World Awards Best of 2020 logo

COVID-19 Adaptation

Our risk and safety, human resources and operations teams have seamlessly collaborated to implement swift, meaningful and wide-ranging actions to safeguard the health and safety of our warehouse associates and keep the food supply chain moving throughout the pandemic. As deserved recognition for their tireless efforts, in October 2020, our Risk and Safety Team was recognized as a Gold winner in the 2020 Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards.

UNFI Allentown, PA warehouse associates playing pool in break room

Allentown Lifestyle Center

This on-site space helps build a culture of well-being, and provides amenities and programs that help meet associate needs, such as English as a Second Language training. Suggestions are reviewed bi-weekly to see how we can improve this new Center for associates.

UNFI Every Moment Matters Logo

Every Moment Matters

We launched a company-wide safety brand to foster a caring, grassroots culture – Every Moment Matters – and a ‘Safety Moment’ to use at meetings of ten or more people, which we hope helps to disseminate important reminders, quickly identify hazards, and empower associates to build a grassroots safety culture.