New Jersey Food Council honors president with new scholarship fund

New Jersey Food Council CEO and President Linda Doherty was recently honored for her service with a new $5,000 “President’s Scholarship,” to be awarded annually to a student from a member company or their family member.

Doherty has served in her role for 20 years.

NJFC launched the scholarship through an advertising journal, which was distributed at the association’s annual holiday party Dec. 5 in East Brunswick. Through generous sponsorships, NJFC raised about $15,000 to kickstart the new scholarship.

“Our new President’s Scholarship is in honor and celebration of the milestone of Linda Doherty’s 20th year as our president of the Food Council and 30th anniversary as a driving force behind the success of the association,” NJFC Chair Andrew Kent of Glass Gardens ShopRite said. “The board believes it is a fitting recognition to establish this scholarship featuring Linda, since the foundation has grown under her leadership from the humble three scholarships to the incredible distribution we have now.

“During her decades of dedication and leadership at the Food Council, our association has grown in influence in New Jersey and throughout the nation; expanded member engagement and reach; achieved substantial legislative, regulatory and legal victories; developed many emerging industry leaders; navigated us through the COVID crisis; positioned our financial strength and built our Educational Scholarship Foundation. On behalf of the board, we are proud to offer this scholarship award featuring Linda as an ongoing legacy to her years of commitment to our mission and exemplary service to the food industry.”

In 2010, the NJFC established its Educational Scholarship Foundation with three NJFC student scholarships totaling $6,000. Over time, the fund has steadily grown to 33 scholarships, now totaling more than $105,000 a year.

What is so unique about the Educational Scholarship Foundation, Kent noted, is that individual member companies join together under the umbrella of the Food Council Scholarship Program to provide their individual company student scholarships as well.

“The overall goal is simple: to support the families and associates of the New Jersey food industry,” Kent said.

The advertising journal honored Doherty for her countless accomplishments over the years to promote and safeguard the state’s food industry. There were also photos and testimonials of previous scholarship winners, as well as highlights of education and networking events over the years under Doherty’s leadership.

“Today, we are in the season of hope and appreciation,” Doherty said. “I will always cherish this tribute and I am grateful for the meaningful friendships, association achievements, memorable events, industry programs and legislative, legal and regulatory victories we have had over the past 30 years.”