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C-store Suppliers Among Most Civic-Minded Cos.

NATIONAL REPORT -- Several supplier companies familiar to the convenience store industry are recognized this year among The Civic 50, a ranking of the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation. Honorees include Altria Group Inc., ConAgra Foods, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, General Mills and The Hershey Co.

"Corporate civic engagement is on the rise, and it's being led by the forward-thinking businesses included on The Civic 50 list," said Neil Bush, chairman of Atlanta-based volunteer service organization Points of Light, which publishes the annual list in partnership with Bloomberg LP.

"The correlation their efforts showcase between community engagement and employee retention, productivity and overall bottom-line benefits continues to prove that businesses that do good do well,” Bush continued. “We … hope that they continue to inspire greater investments in improving communities through corporate civic engagement."

Hershey was ranked No. 3 in the Consumer Discretionary Sector, No. 2 overall for social impact, No. 4 overall for institutionalization and No. 6 overall in the business impact category. The Pennsylvania-based confectioner scored in the top 25 percent of companies in all five ranking categories.

"Our company was built on our founder's belief that 'business is a matter of human service' and the remarkable employees at Hershey work to bring goodness to the world each and every day," said Mike Wege, Hershey’s chief marketing and growth officer. "Making a difference is a Hershey core value, and we are motivated when our business expertise and financial resources are able to make measurable, positive change.”

ConAgra, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Altria came in first, second and third, respectively, in the Consumer Staples sector of the survey.

The Civic 50 summary report noted that Dr Pepper Snapple Group committed $15 million over three years to Washington, D.C.-based playground charity KaBOOM!, and 2,300 employees volunteered almost 19,000 hours to build 40-plus playgrounds. 

"The recognition underscores our commitment to socially responsible practices and is a testament to our employees' desire to do good things for the communities that have supported our company's successes over the years," stated Vicki Draughn, vice president of corporate affairs for Plano,Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group, noting that this was the third such win in a row for the soft drink supplier.

Hershey and Altria are also three-time winners, while ConAgra made the list in 2012.

"Our commitment to the communities in which we live and work is one of the key planks of ConAgra Foods' citizenship platform," said Chris Kircher, vice president of corporate affairs and president of the ConAgra Foods Foundation. "Doing the right thing gives our employees a great sense of pride."

The Civic 50 summary report cited ConAgra's Child Hunger Ends Here campaign, which it observed "increases consumer awareness of child hunger and provides an easy way for them to help," as well as the Omaha, Neb.-based company's community engagement program, Good for You, Good for the Community and Good for the Planet.

The Civic 50 report was created in 2012.

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