ShopRite Partners with LifeTown to Create Supermarket Experience for Young People with Special Needs

(LIVINGSTON, N.J.)  ShopRite and LifeTown cut the ribbon Nov. 19 on a unique new store that gives individuals with special needs practice with daily life and job skills. The special ribbon cutting ceremony took place at LifeTown, a new immersive educational, therapeutic and recreational center located at 10 Microlab Road in Livingston, NJ.

The ShopRite store experience at LifeTown is incorporated into the educational curriculum. It will focus on life-skills lessons including: money management, staying on task, choosing healthy food, and following a shopping list. Young adults with special needs will also have the opportunity to learn how to stock store shelves, work a cash register, bag groceries, and more as part of job-readiness training.

The 53,000-square-foot LifeTown opened in September and provides social, recreational and educational activities for children, teens and young adults with special needs and their families. The ShopRite supermarket experience is part of the 11,000-square-foot “LifeTown Shoppes,” the center of LifeTown and a working Main Street and real-world setting with a theater, bank, doctor’s office and shops. More than 6,500 students are expected to participate in the educational programs at LifeTown Shoppes each year, with 35,000 people participating in all the programs and services that LifeTown offers.

“The young people who come to LifeTown inspire us with their special ability to face challenges with strength, passion and commitment. ShopRite is honored to partner with LifeTown to provide a store experience that helps visitors develop life and job skills, and we look forward to working and learning together,” said Neil Greenstein, a third-generation grocer who owns the ShopRite of Newark and Brookdale ShopRite.

Perry Blatt, another third generation supermarket operator and the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Village Super Market, Inc., which owns and operates the ShopRite of Livingston, will also attend the ribbon cutting event on Nov. 19.

“LifeTown is such a wonderful addition to the Livingston community, and we are proud to help support the learning center with this ShopRite store experience. Our ShopRite stores are committed to the communities where our stores operate,” added Blatt.

“We’re very excited that ShopRite has partnered with us to create a store that simulates the experience our children would have when they walk into any ShopRite location,” said LifeTown CEO Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum. “Through their experience at LifeTown, participants will learn life skills and be more confident when they enter a store in their own towns.”

ShopRite joins RWJ/Barnabas Health, Regal Bank, Words Bookstore, DCH Audi, and others as sponsors of stores in the LifeTown Shoppes.

In addition to the LifeTown Shoppes, the facility has a zero-entry pool, a sound-attenuated gym, accessible football field, indoor sensory playground and more. The NY Jets, NFL, Nestle Health and Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey also sponsored parts of LifeTown.

Learn more about LifeTown at:

Friendship Circle is a primary resource for families who have children with special needs. Participants benefit from a wide array of innovative respite, social and recreational program allowing parents much-needed respite secure in the knowledge that their children are in a safe, warm and welcoming environment. Friendship Circle took what it has learned over the last 19 years and created LifeTown to serve an even larger population with the same warmth and caring. For more information or to get involved, please visit:

ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, N.J., and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States. With close to 280 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than six million customers each week. Through its ShopRite Partners in Caring program, ShopRite is dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities it serves, and has donated $48 million to 2,100 worthy charities and food banks since the program began in 1999. As a title sponsor of the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer, ShopRite has raised nearly $34 million for local organizations, hospitals and community groups. For more information, please visit