Technology/Services

Katrina Relief Effort Keeps Growing

Help from Town & Country, Hot Stuff, A-B, Coke

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Town & Country Food Stores is donating $50,000 to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The San Angelo, Texas-based retailer said it plans to immediately donate $10,000 each to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army as they are the first responders to this crisis and need additional resources in order to be successful in their efforts.

For the long-term effort, the company said, As many of the individuals who were displaced by this storm move into the areas that Town & Country serves, they will place an [image-nocss] intense strain on the resources of our local charities.We believe that funding the local United Ways in the areas that we serve is the best way to make sure that these people are taken care of as well as ensuring that those less fortunate in our communities continue to have charitable resources that remain strong.We are committing $30,000 in addition to the corporate gift that we already give to the United Way to help in this effort.

It added, Town & Country also is providing for payroll deduction if employees wish to contribute to the United Way in our area of operations in order to help in this effort.These personal donations will be above and beyond what the company is planning to contribute.

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Hot Stuff Foods and First Premier Bank South Dakota are increasing Hot Stuff employee contributions sixfold to aid the relief of victims devastated by Katrina, the company said. In a display of what President and CEO Des Hague calls collaborative compassion Hot Stuff Foods is doubling all employee contributions made to the American Red Cross by September 29. First Premier Bank has stated that it will match any funds donated to the local chapter's hurricane relief fund.

Essentially, our Hot Stuff Foods employees can immediately compound their contribution 600%. For example, if an employee donated $50, we would then double that amount which equates to $150. First Premier will then match the amount, which totals $300, said Hague.

He said even though Hot Stuff Foods is located far from the devastated area, the company has close ties to the areas hit. We have a company family of franchisees and their employees who were directly affected by the hurricane's effects. Add that to the thousands of Hot Stuff customers who support those retailer partners and you can see how we feel this closeness. Several of our employees here in Sioux Falls speak to those affected on a weekly basis.

Hague added that other relief efforts are being planned using the company's food distribution capabilities; they will be announced once logistics with appropriate agencies and relief operations can be coordinated.

Hot Stuff Foods franchises and licenses its branded food concepts in over 1600 locations throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Asia.

Along with previously announced efforts, St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch said that its breweries in Fort Collins, Colo., and Jacksonville, Fla., are joining the company's ongoing effort to package and deliver millions of cans of safe drinking water for the victims of Katrina. Both breweries will devote a portion of their capacity to canning drinking water this week, following earlier production runs at the Cartersville, Ga. and Houston breweries. The water is being delivered to victims and relief workers throughout the Gulf Coast region. In some cases, teams of drivers are working together to keep over-the-road trucks rolling nonstop to the stricken area.

The company's SeaWorld Adventure Park in San Antonio will provide free admission for hurricane victims from Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, from Sept. 10 through Nov. 27, 2005.

Also, A-B is offering its St. Louis employees paid time off to help victims of Hurricane Katrina through a new program, Operation A-B Cares. St. Louis-based employees will be authorized to take up to five days off, with pay, in order to aid relief efforts in St. Louis. To qualify, employees must volunteer at the Red Cross of St. Louis, the St. Louis Chapter of The Salvation Army or St. Patrick's Center.

And The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, and its bottling partners said that they have shipped more than 30 million donated 8-oz. servings of filtered water, juice, sports drinks and other beverages to relief organizations including the Red Cross, Department of Defense, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and foodservice partners such as Aramark for distribution to those who have been affected by Katrina.

Coca-Cola bottlers and company plants in the Southeast are producing water and other beverages for donation to relief efforts across the Gulf Coast. The product donation is in addition to the $5 million in cash already pledged to organizations such as the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army and the Coca-Cola System Hurricane Katrina Employee Relief Fund.

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