PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) (the "Company") today announced the appointment of Richard Schnieders, age 63, to the Company's Board of Directors. Mr. Schnieders joins UNFI as an independent director and brings three decades of experience in the food distribution industry. His appointment, effective February 2, 2012, increases the total number of Company directors to nine, including seven independent directors. Mr. Schnieders began his career in the food distribution industry with Sysco Corporation ("SYSCO") in 1982. During his tenure with SYSCO, Mr. Schnieders served as a director from 1997 through 2009. Mr. Schnieders also served in several senior management roles beginning in 1992 including SYSCO's Chief Executive Officer, President, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Foodservice Operations and Senior Vice President of Merchandising. Since 2009, Mr. Schnieders has focused on sustainable solutions that increase access to fresh food, provide nutritional education, and empower local communities. Recently, Mr. Schnieders and his wife co-founded a new venture to provide healthy, affordable food to underserved communities. Mr. Schnieders does not serve on the board of directors for any other public company. About United Natural Foods United Natural Foods, Inc. ( www.unfi.com) carries and distributes more than 60,000 products to more than 23,000 customer locations throughout the United States and Canada. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the food service channel. United Natural Foods, Inc. was ranked by Fortune in 2006 – 2010 as one of its "Most Admired Companies," winner of the Supermarket News 2008 Sustainability Excellence Award, and recognized by the Nutrition Business Journal for its 2009 Environment and Sustainability Award.