DENVER — Alta Convenience Stores, a subsidiary of Western Alta Holdings LP Co., is leading an initiative to stop human trafficking, a crime that takes place all over the United States and often intersects with convenience stores due to their locations.
Convenience Stores Against Trafficking (CSAT), a program of national nonprofit, In Our Backyard, will help the c-store industry play a vital role in stopping human trafficking through no-cost, easy-to-implement means. C-stores' longer hours of operation, public restrooms and ease of access increase the likelihood that they can help victims of human trafficking, according to the announcement.
"At Alta Convenience, we work hard to keep our store safe and show our community that we care — implementing the Convenience Stores Against Trafficking program helps us do both," said Rich Spresser, President of Pester Marketing/Alta Convenience Stores. "We are proud to be an industry leader to combat human trafficking."
CSAT places "Freedom Stickers," which display the National Human Trafficking hotline and a message of hope for victims, in c-store bathrooms because they are the safest place for a victim of human trafficking to reach out for help.
"Awareness is critical to stopping human trafficking and we so are thankful for Pester Marketing taking action to stop human trafficking in their communities. All traffickers ask is that we stay silent and they will continue to profit off the sale of innocent children, women, and men," said Juliana Williams, CSAT program manager.
CSAT can also provide training on indicators of human trafficking and how to safely report it.
Western Alta Holdings is based in San Antonio, while Pester Marketing/Alta Convenience Stores is based in Denver. Pester Marketing was formerly led by industry pioneer Jack Pester, who founded the company in 1955.