Community Service Spotlight: 7-Eleven, Alta Convenience & Dole

EG America, Mars Wrigley, Parker's, Petroleum Marketing Group, Pilot Co. and Royal Farms also gave substantial gifts back to their communities.
Amanda Koprowski
Associate Editor
Amanda Koprowski profile picture

NATIONAL REPORT — Giving back through community service efforts and charitable donations is a positive force that keeps many retailers and suppliers of this industry moving ahead. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these philanthropic efforts in this special section.

Here are the latest company spotlights:

CMN Hospital Banner that says Change Kid's Health, Change the Future

7-Eleven Inc.

7-Eleven Inc. has once again teamed up with Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals to launch an in-store fundraising campaign at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores. 

Running through April 11, customers are invited to round up their purchase at checkout or donate $1 to help support more than 105 member hospitals in communities across the country.

"Building on the success and momentum of the 2022 fundraising results, we are excited to continue to support CMN Hospitals with the launch of an in-store fundraising campaign in 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores this spring," said Marissa Jarratt, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for 7-Eleven, "When we work together to improve the health of all children and allow them the opportunity to reach their full potential, we are helping to improve our communities for years to come."

Along with the option to round up at the register, customers can also donate directly online to CMN Hospitals. And for the first time, customers can show their support by rounding up their purchase on the 7Now delivery app. 

Funds raised through this campaign will help advance pediatric health care by providing critical lifesaving equipment and much needed resources to treat children throughout the communities 7-Eleven serves.

Since 1991, Speedway has partnered with CMN Hospitals to raise more than $170 million for local member children's hospitals. Now, in partnership with 7-Eleven, CMN Hospitals has the opportunity to impact more than 10 million patients each year.

Headquartered in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 77,000 stores in 15 countries and regions with the 7-Eleven trademark represented on more than 83,000 stores. The iconic brand will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2027.

Alta Convenience

In 2022, Alta Convenience and Petro-Mart stores in seven states raised more than $300,000 for the Make A Wish Star Campaign. 

Alta and Petro-Mark stores partnered and supported Make A Wish chapters in their respective states, with all the money raised in each store going directly to the state chapter in which the store is located. By concentrating on work at the local level, the company believes it brings the communities around these stores together, since they know that they could not only be helping a child and family in need but possibly a neighbor.

CF Altitude, the parent company of Alta Convenience, operates 110 convenience stores in five states: Colorado Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and New Mexico. Near the end of 2021, 46 new stores were added to the CF Altitude family in Missouri and Illinois and run under the banner Petro-Mart.

Banana bread loaves on a tray


Charlotte, N.C.-based Dole Food Co. teamed up with the Community Culinary School of Charlotte (CCSC) to host a bake-off and free public taste test on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 to determine Charlotte's best banana bread.

According to bake-off rules, local residents could sample competing banana bread recipes — one developed by Dole and a second created by CCSC students — before casting their vote for their favorite. The winning recipe was crowned "Charlotte's Best Banana Bread" and distributed to media and other groups on Feb. 23's National Banana Bread Day, before being made available for sale at the CCSC Café.

The two competing options were Dole's Loaded Banana Bread, made with bananas, eggs, almond milk yogurt and crushed pecans, or the CCSC Class #73 Banana Bread featuring bananas, avocado oil, maple syrup and sweet potato, the official vegetable of  North Carolina. 

This friendly competition was part of a larger collaboration between the two organizations to develop healthy, produce-forward, cooking and lifestyle habits, and provide the training to allow more local residents to gain access to Charlotte's growing culinary and food service sector.

"Dole is honored to help support the next generation of local bakers, cooks and chefs – and remind these future culinary stars that the best recipes can be delicious and healthy at the same time," said Melanie Marcus, Dole's nutrition and health communications manager,. "The enthusiasm, creativity and passion displayed by these students makes all of us at Dole very excited about the future of Charlotte's restaurant and food service scene."

CCSC provides culinary training to those impacted by homelessness, poverty, abuse and other issues, as well as to veterans and others transitioning into civilian life, to encourage self-sufficiency through stable employment in food service.

Dole plc is one of the world's largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. 

EG Group and American Red Cross Logos

EG America 

To help the Red Cross in its efforts to assist those in need and to commemorate Red Cross Month in March, EG America will be running a fundraiser with a goal of raising $150,000.

Throughout March, guests will have the opportunity to donate $1, $5 or an amount of their choosing to the Red Cross during checkout. Participating stores include Cumberland Farms, Certified Oil, Fastrac, Kwik Shop, Loaf 'N Jug, Minit Mart, Quik Stop, Sprint Food Stores, Tom Thumb and Turkey Hill. All proceeds will go towards supporting the Red Cross' humanitarian mission to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. This U.S. fundraiser is part of EG Group's global participation in support of the Red Cross.

"It is a privilege to partner with [the] American Red Cross to raise funds for their vital mission of offering help in times of extreme need through mobilization, volunteering and generosity," said Caroline Taitelbaum, president of EG America. "We encourage all guests who visit any of our participating locations nationwide to consider making a donation in support of this worthy cause."  

Founded in 2001 by the Issa family, United Kingdom-based EG Group is a leading convenience retailer which has established partnerships with global brands. The company currently employs more than 50,000 colleagues working in more than 6,300 sites across the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, continental Europe and Australia.

Dove Instagrants Banner with Women standing and looking to the right

Mars Wrigley

In December, Mars Wrigley brand Dove Chocolate launched its Dove InstaGrants program, which encouraged women entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas or established businesses for a chance to receive a $10,000 grant. After receiving four times the number of entries from its inaugural year, 2023's winners include: 

  • Feaena from Isabel Last, which takes an innovative approach to learning new languages, presenting an immersive, story-filled video game that helps users become fluent in Spanish.
  • HERide from Jillian Anderson, a rideshare app made for women by women, providing reliable peer-to-peer transportation using exclusively female drivers, while paying them 80 percent of each fare.
  • Blend of Soul from Kiera Gardner & Margo NewKirk, a flavor-forward cold-pressed juice company which uses locally sourced all-natural ingredients and sustainably made products.

Researchers from Columbia Business School and London Business School have found that start-ups led by women are 63 percent less likely to receive funding than those led by men. To help begin addressing this imbalance, Dove has committed itself to putting these women's businesses in front of venture capitalists and the wider public in order to encourage support and funding.

Dove delivered premium chocolate to various venture capital firms which included its InstaGrant winners' pitches in the gift boxes. Dove also worked with Indiegogo to set up crowdfunding pages for each winner and promote those pages across social media. 

Dove is additionally continuing to support its 2022 winners, which included Polipoli Farms, a native-run farm using indigenous and modern growing practices in regenerative agroforests; Mobile Memory, a cost-effective screening tool intended to detect early signs of Alzheimer's; and Black Girl MATHgic, a subscription box designed to increase math confidence and decrease math anxiety in girls.

Parker's Convenience and Roper St. Francis Logos


Paker's Community Fund gifted $5 million to the Roper St. Francis Foundation to establish the Parker's Community Impact Fund, which will support community health initiatives and the caregivers of Roper St. Francis Healthcare across the metro Charleston, S.C. area.

The Parker's Community Fund was created by Parker's convenience store founder and CEO Greg Parker and Parker's in 2020. It awards grants to qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations demonstrating positive, measurable impact in one or more of the following focus areas: health care, education, hunger and heroes.

The Parker's Community Fund investment — the largest gift in the history of the Roper St. Francis Foundation — was announced at the 17th annual Roper Xavier Society Gala.

"At Parker's, we think it's extremely important to give back to the community and to be a force for positive change," said Parker. "We are truly honored to support the patients and caregivers at Roper St. Francis Healthcare and are inspired by the health care system's vision for the future. Parker's and Roper St. Francis Healthcare share a commitment to the Lowcountry community and to improving lives."

In recognition of the gift, Roper St. Francis Healthcare will name its six existing emergency rooms in honor of the Parker's Community Fund, including four acute care emergency rooms and two freestanding emergency rooms. 

The Parker's Community Impact Fund will support and enhance numerous existing priorities for the health care system, including the Greer Transitions Clinic, assistance for uninsured and underinsured patients, youth apprenticeships and on-the-job training for historically marginalized communities. The gift will also establish the Parker's Community Fund Healthcare Hero Award, which will be announced annually at the Foundation's Roper Xavier Society Gala.

As the area's only private not-for-profit health care system, Roper St. Francis Healthcare features four flagship hospitals.

Headquartered in Savannah, Ga., Parker's has been included on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in America six times.

Petroleum Marketing Group 

Petroleum Marketing Group (PMG) presented a $59,000 donation to Washington, D.C.-based Children's National Hospital as part of "The Giving Pump" initiative, which concluded in late 2022. 

During the campaign, 108 PMG gas stations donated the combined proceeds from their designated Giving Pump. The funds will be used to support the hospital's Fund for Every Child, which covers the hospital's greatest needs and ensures children have access to world-class care. PMG President and CEO Hossein Ejtemai presented the donation to the Children's National in a ceremony at the hospital.

"Children's National is one of the foremost centers for children's health in the Washington, D.C. region and we are proud to be able to support its mission to serve families," said Andre Leblanc, vice president of operations for PMG. "PMG is proud to assist the hospital and its staff in their mission to provide top-tier health care to all who need it."

PMG has a long tradition of actively supporting several nonprofits in the Washington, D.C. region and across its network of fueling stations. These include the National Center for Children and Families, StreetLight Homeless Shelter, Red Cross Disaster Relief and various regional food banks.

The Giving Pump initiative ran for three months and could be found across 48 states, where a portion of the purchases made by consumers who used a colorful designated pump supported children-based charities locally and nationally. Approximately $3.1 million went to 527 local charities across the United States.

PMG employs more than 800 people and serves 1,500 gas stations from Maine to Florida.

Hands holding a paper heart for the American Heart Association

Pilot Co.

Pilot Co. kicked off American Heart Month with its annual round-up and donation campaign, encouraging guests to stop by at one of their participating locations and support heart health.

This is the sixth year Pilot supported the American Heart Association's Life is Why campaign and encouraged guests to donate at participating Pilot, Flying J or One9 Fuel Network travel centers throughout February. This year, the company also advocated heart health and safety among its 30,000 team members by providing virtual, hands-only CPR training, resources to find other nearby CPR classes and virtual cooking classes.

"For the past six years, we've been honored to help support the life-saving work of the American Heart Association," said Brian Ferguson, chief merchant at Pilot. "We're excited that this year's campaign also focuses on the importance of CPR. By rounding up your purchases at Pilot and Flying J stores during Heart Month, you are helping the American Heart Association and the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation save lives."

Pilot's fundraising initiatives included $1, $3 and $5 paper hearts available for purchase at participating travel centers to benefit the American Heart Association in the United States and the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Canada. The company also ran a round-up donation drive, letting guests round up their purchase to the nearest whole dollar or elect to donate other amounts on the pin-pad during checkout. All the proceeds from each initiative went directly to each respective organization.

Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot has a network of more than 800 retail and fueling locations that supplies more than 14 billion gallons of fuel per year to the market. Its Pilot and Flying J travel center network includes more than 750 locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces.

Royal Farms

Baltimore-based convenience store chain Royal Farms has been donating to Johns Hopkins Children's Center since 1994 and has subsequently raised more than $3 million for the center through their Coin Cannister initiative.

Royal Farms plans to continue their dedicated assistance for the  Johns Hopkins community. Previously donated funds have helped provide financial support to lower income families with hospitalized children, alleviating stressful ancillary costs, and helped sponsor the Child Life and Social Work programs.

"We are so grateful for the extraordinary partnership of Royal Farms over the past three decades. Royal Farms' support of Johns Hopkins Children's Center has allowed us to provide our children and families with comfort care programs and items not covered by insurance, as well as our faculty and staff with invaluable funds to further their research so that we can help even more families," said Cynthia Palacz, Johns Hopkins spokesperson.

Royal Farms' additional support of family meals and special events allow hospitalized children and their families to feel a sense of normalcy during a challenging time.

Johns Hopkins Children's Center is the top pediatric hospital in Maryland and the only Level 1 trauma center for pediatric patients in the region. 

Royal Farms opened its first store in Baltimore in 1959 under the name White Jug. Today, the company operates 260 locations throughout Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New Jersey. The chain plans to open its first c-store in North Carolina in 2023.