NEW YORK — People Magazine recognized 50 companies that have gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic, including convenience-store chain Sheetz and consumer packaged goods manufacturer Mars Inc.
Sheetz, Altoona, Pa., took the No. 11 spot on the Companies That Care list, which People made in conjunction with Great Place to Work to identify the top U.S. companies that are supporting their employees and communities during the coronavirus outbreak.
The article highlights Sheetz’ Kidz Meal Bagz Program, which has provided more than 346,000 meals to children since the pandemic began. The free meals include a turkey sandwich, chips and a drink and help make up for meals children may be missing out on due to school closures.
“The health and well-being of our team members, customers and communities we call home has been our top priority since the onset of COVID-19,” Travis Sheetz, president and COO of Sheetz, said in a separate announcement. “As an essential business, Sheetz has been committed to staying open to serve the needs of the community. We are truly grateful for the dedication and commitment of our employees, who have worked tirelessly to provide total customer focus, especially during these challenging times. They are the true heart and soul of this company.”
Because of the pandemic, Sheetz has also implemented new cleaning and sanitation protocols, including releasing new "SHcan & Go" technology in support of social distancing recommendations, rolling out curbside pickup and delivery options and offering free coffee to health care workers.
“Best workplaces like Sheetz are showing up for their employees and communities during this unprecedented time and they’re able to do this because of the strong investments in their cultures leading up to this point,” said Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work, in the announcement. “Having a foundation of trust has allowed these businesses to find innovative responses to COVID-19.”
McLean, Va.-based Mars Inc.—known for brands including Mars Wrigley, Mars Petcare and Mars Food—ranked at No. 37 on People’s list.
In response to the significant increase of pet adoptions during the pandemic, the Mars Petcare brand Royal Canin created an educational program called Catology to help guide foster parents of kittens and cats, New York-based People said. The first 1,000 people to join received free food for a month.
“Our goal is to equip people with all of the tools and resources needed to have a successful experience, and hopefully turn many from fosters to forever homes,” Tony Wild, director of cat acceleration at Royal Canin, said, according to People.
Mars also committed in April to donating $20 million to support people, pets and communities most affected by COVID-19. The donation includes $5 million to CARE, $2 million to the United Nations World Food Program and $1 to the Humane Society International.