CHICAGO — This month’s community service roundup includes convenience-store companies stepping up to aid those affected by power and water outages in Texas and initiatives to support restaurant workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click through to see what c-store retailers and suppliers gave back in February …
BP America, La Palma, Calif., will donate more than $500,000 to support victims of historic power and water outage due to extreme winter weather in Texas.
Half of the donation will benefit the American Red Cross to serve Texas and the other half to Houston-area organizations supporting disaster relief. The BP foundation will also match dollar-for-dollar donations from BP employees to the American Red Cross.
“People are suffering, and BP wants to help,” said Dave Lawler, chairman and president of BP America. “We remain committed to the communities where we live, work and connect with our customers. Working with the American Red Cross and other organizations, we will support these communities as quickly as possible.”
Rutter’s, York, Pa., is sponsoring eight Ridge Scholarships for employees and their children through the Rutter’s Children’s Charities.
A total of $20,000 in scholarships will be donated to those seeking secondary education. The Ridge Scholarships are in addition to other annual scholarship offerings for Rutter’s employees and their families, the company said.
The Ridge Scholarships, presented by the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, were created to honor Thomas R. Ridge and Laura Ridge, members of the Pennsylvania food industry for 25 years.
Each scholarship is worth $2,500 during the 2021-2022 academic year and is applicable toward any college or university. Winners will be announced in April.
Since 1990, Rutter’s awarded more than $110,000 in scholarships to more than 200 applicants.
Sheetz, Altoona, Pa., raised more than $1.8 million in 2020 through its Sheetz For the Kidz fundraiser. The employee-driven charity supports underprivileged children.
During July and December, Sheetz customers could support local children through donation boxes near the register and by adding donations to their purchase at point of sale. The fundraiser helps children celebrate the holidays with gifts such as new toys, clothes and other basic-needs items.
Each of Sheetz’s 615 stores supported more than 16 children, the company said.
Pilot Co., Knoxville, Tenn., is raising money for the American Heart Association through the organizations Life is Why campaign. The initiative takes place in February during American heart months.
Customners can donate online or by visiting one of more than 750 travel centers and c-stores to round up their purchases or buy a paper heart in support of the cause.
“The importance of giving to raise funds for the American Heart Association's critical research and programs is greater than ever, especially due to COVID-19,” Brian Ferguson, chief merchant of Pilot Co., said.
Throughout the campaign customers will also find exclusive deals in the Pilot Flying J app on healthier food and beverage options at Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers.
Giant Eagle, Inc., parent company of GetGo Café and Market, received the top score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index, which measures corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.
Giant Eagle will donate $20,000 to the LGBTQ organizations across its markets in celebration of the CEI recognition and as part of the company’s ongoing dedication to supporting the health of LGBTQ communities. A $5,000 donation will be made to the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation in Pennsylvania, the Kaleidoscope Youth Center in Columbus, the Indiana Youth Group and School of One at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.
Giant Eagle’s convenience division, Pittsburgh, includes more than 260 stores.
Sheetz and Wawa
Traditionally, money is raised for Special Olympics in February through Polar Plunges, where participants jump into frigid water to support individuals with intellectual disabilities. This year, instead of plunging into icy water, participants—including Sheetz CEO Joe Sheetz and Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens—took the Polar Pop and popped a cold water balloon over their heads.
Every Polar Pop supports continued sports training and competition for Special Olympics athletes. The c-store chains donated $5,000 each to Special Olympics Pennsylvania as part of the campaign.
Cubby’s Inc., Omaha, Neb., started a fundraising partnership with the Dakota Valley School District.
The c-store chain will donate $1 for every large Godfather’s Pizza Express pizza or breakfast pizza sold at 200 Tower Road, Dakota Dunes, S.D.
Cubby’s also provides scholarship opportunities to employees pursuing higher education.
Essentia Water, Bothell, Wash., contributed more than $1 million in 2020 through its Believe and Corporate Social Responsibility Platform.
This included monetary and product donations to organizations on the frontline of COVID-19 relief and social justice and empowerment efforts nationwide.
Essentia supplied in the past year more than 750,000 bottles of water to more than 200 hospitals, first responders and meal service providers. It also donated more than $200,000 and products to its national partner organizations After-School All-Stars and the American Red Cross.
It also donated $300,000 to support the Black community in the wake of the social injustice crisis. Recipients included the National Urban League, Black Voters Matter and the United Negro College Fund.
For 2021, additional efforts to donate bottled water are already underway.
CbdMD Inc., Charlotte, N.C., is donating up to $500,000 from its online sales to The Barstool Fund. The fund was created in response to New York city’s shutdown of indoor dining and set up by David Portnoy and Barstool Sports. Money will help restaurants, bars and small businesses around the country in need of help due to the effects of COVID-19.
As of early February, Barstool Sports had raised more than $30 million
Though the end of February, any topical purchased through cbdMD.com using the code BARSTOOLFUND will receive a 25% discount. CbdMD will then match the 25% discount in a cash donation to The Barstool Fund.
Nestle Waters North America
Nestle Waters North America (NWNA), Stamford, Conn., received a score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index. NWNA is one of more than 760 major U.S. businesses that earned top marks this year.
The company supports an equitable culture through progressive workplace policies aimed to eliminate bias and discrimination. As part of the resources and benefits available to create an inclusive work environment, NWNA offers transgender-inclusive health care coverage, parity between same- and different-sex couple benefits and unconscious bias and micro-aggression training, the company said.
Dos Equis, from White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken, will match every purchase with a $1 donation to Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation through June 2021. The fund will help those affected restaurant and bar workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic through the foundation’s COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund.
The on-premise program is activated when customers purchase Dos Equis and upload their receipt to www.DosEquis.com/ADosofGood. The act triggers a $1 donation from Dos Equis to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation.
“We’ve all been affected by COVID-19 in some shape or form,” said Reggie Gustave, Dos Equis senior brand manager. “Within the restaurant community, regulars are losing contact with bartenders, servers and hangouts, ending relationships and leaving everyone feeling a bit isolated. Dos Equis is committed to supporting these tireless workers, the hospitality industry and the warm camaraderie that stems from the simple act of enjoying a beer with friends.”