ShopRite is Autism Delaware’s Employer of the Year

Kenny Family stores are a positive role model for autism employment

Published: June 22, 2023          by: Autism Delaware

On March 28, 2023, Jennifer Selvaggi, director of human resources, and Scott Gibson, HR specialist, from the Kenny Family ShopRites of Delaware, accepted the Noelle Perry Smith Employer of the Year Award from Tracy Horn, Autism Delaware's employment services manager. Autism Delaware gives this award to recognize employers who hire one or more individuals with autism and serve as a positive role model for the employment community. Six employees on the spectrum supported by Autism Delaware currently work in three ShopRite locations, all hired since 2021.

Bernie Kenny, owner and president, opened the first ShopRite in 1995. Since then, his company, Delaware Supermarkets Inc., has grown to a six-store chain of ShopRites that operate in northern Delaware. In 2008, he founded the Kenny Family Foundation to unite philanthropy and the power of partnerships to create greater equity and opportunity in New Castle County, Delaware.

A group of eight smiling people in a grocery store produce section. Two women in the center are holding an award plaque.
(left to right) Larry Katz, Anthony DiVico, Jill Baker, Jennifer Selvaggi, Tracy Horn, Scott Gibson, Jessica Cern, and Joe Balinski.

"The Kenny Family ShopRites were selected for this award because they exemplify what it means to be an outstanding community partner in every sense," said Katina Demitriou, director of Autism Delaware's adult services. "They are not only committed to making their stores great places to work and eliminating barriers to employment -- they also truly care about the well-being of the people they employ and communities they serve."

"Our participants love their jobs in their stores and they feel valued," she added.

Selvaggi explained why ShopRite hires people on the spectrum. "ShopRite is dedicated to hiring people on the spectrum. They often demonstrate trustworthiness, strong memories, reliability, adherence to rules and attention to detail. These qualities are essential in the Grocery industry to serve our customers and the community."

ShopRite supermarkets are located in Brandywine Commons (Wilmington), Christina Crossing (Wilmington), First State Plaza (Stanton), Governor's Square (Bear), Four Seasons Plaza (Newark), and Chestnut Hill Plaza (Newark).

Young man standing on a step stool, stocking shelves of baby products in a grocery story.

Employers who would like to know more about the benefits of hiring people on the spectrum and how Autism Delaware supports their success should contact Katina Demetriou at