California; Mi Pueblo offering $200,000 in scholarships.

Mi Pueblo's flagship location at the corner of Story and King Roads serves customers in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. Members of the community held a a news conference to protest the store's use of the federal E-Verify program. The Bay Area's largest Latino grocery recently began using the voluntary internet-based program to check the immigration status of all its new hires on a recommendation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Anda Chu/Staff)

Mi Pueblo Food Centers said it is offering 100 scholarships totaling more than $200,000 to community members and employees already enrolled in college or who wish to continue their education.

The San Jose, Calif.-based chain said it has awarded more than $550,000 in funding to more than 350 individuals in Northern California, where it operates, since it initially launched the scholarship program in 2011.

To qualify, applicants must demonstrate community involvement as well as financial need, the company said.

According to Javier Ramirez, president and CEO of the 15-store Hispanic-focused chain, “Many of Mi Pueblo’s customers and employees came to the U.S. in search of a better life for themselves and their families. We recognize that education is the first step toward achieving this goal, and we are thrilled to once again offer the community and our valued employees an opportunity to better prepare themselves for the future and to fulfill their dreams.”

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