Community Service Spotlight
NATIONAL REPORT -- Giving back through community service efforts and charity donations is a positive force that keeps many retailers and suppliers of this industry moving forward. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these philanthropic efforts in this special section.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
CITGO Petroleum Corp.
CITGO Petroleum Corp. launched its Fueling Education Promotion, a new program with ClassWish that offers teachers, student teachers and PTA/PTO members a chance to win $1,000 in school supplies for their classrooms.
Until July 7, kindergarten through 12th-grade public school teachers can visit the Fueling Education website to create a customized school supply wish list for their classroom. Three $1,000 winners will be randomly selected from each of the 27 states in which CITGO operates, as well as the District of Columbia, for a total of 84 winners across the CITGO footprint.
To increase their chances to win, teachers who have already entered their wish list on the Fueling Education website can post a photo on Instagram that says "Hey CITGO - Fuel Good in my classroom!" Twenty-five Instagram entries will be selected at random to receive $1,000 in school supplies and a $100 CITGO gift card. Prizes will be awarded beginning in August.
CITGO is also renewing its sponsorship of Bess the Book Bus, one of its first "Fueling Good" winners and a nationwide advocate for literacy.
Throughout 2013, Bess will travel to schools, community centers, shelters and after-school programs in more than 30 cities across the country, while also continuing to build and enhance school and classroom libraries. New this year, Bess is partnering with local authors, artists and musicians in an effort to bring art and music to the nation's most underserved schools.
Founded in 2002, Bess the Book Bus' mission is to promote literacy and provide underserved children with access to new books. From its humble beginnings in Tampa, Fla., founder Jennifer Frances has grown the program into one of the nation's most innovative mobile literacy initiatives.
Year round, Frances and her network of volunteers take Bess the Book Bus directly to underserved communities to read to children and provide what for many youngsters is their first new book. Through support from CITGO and other corporate sponsors, Bess the Book Bus has covered more than 48 states, supported more than 60,000 families and donated more than 450,000 books.
In local company news, CITGO and Houston-based CITGO marketer Sun Coast Resources organized a surprise donation for the Houston Furniture Bank in honor of its commitment to "furnishing hope by making empty houses homes." Together, the two companies presented furniture collected by Sun Coast Resources' employees and $500 in CITGO gift cards at the Houston CITGO Marketer Meeting in March.
The Houston Furniture Bank provides furniture at no cost to families struggling to make ends meet due to natural disasters, impoverishment, addiction or catastrophic health issues. Recipients are referred by more than 75 social service agencies in the greater Houston area.
Since its founding more than 20 years ago, the Houston Furniture Bank has collected almost a quarter of a million pieces of donated furniture and delivered them to more than 23,000 families in need in the greater Houston metropolitan area.
From March 1 through March 15, 31 PS Food Mart stores in Michigan and Ohio focused their efforts on selling $1 and $5 paper hearts to benefit the South Central Michigan Food Bank, Toledo Northwest Ohio Food Bank and several local food pantries in communities where PS Food Mart operates.
Since 2009, the "Fight Hunger. Give Hope." campaign has raised more than $200,000 to provide more than 1 million meals to families in need throughout the region. Proceeds from this year's "Fight Hunger. Give Hope." campaign will directly support regional food pantries, which each help hundreds of families a week.
Kraft Foods Group Inc.
Kraft kicked off Make an Impact 2013, its first companywide volunteer event since becoming a newly independent company last year. This month, Kraft employees are rolling up their sleeves to work on 200 volunteer projects that support the company's community involvement priorities: fighting hunger and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Volunteer activities will include planting community gardens, sorting and packing donated items at food banks, and leading activities that support nutrition, education and active play for children.
The Kraft team will volunteer with non-profit organizations in communities across North America, including Irvine, Calif., Madison, Wis., Avon, N.Y., and Toronto. During National Volunteer Week (April 21-27), the celebration will culminate with Kraft's Northshore Day of Service near its hometown headquarters. On April 26, Kraft employees will volunteer in Chicago-area neighborhoods such as Waukegan, Little Village, Pilsen and Englewood.
Kum & Go LC
At the groundbreaking of the Des Moines Social Club's new home at a former firehouse in downtown Des Moines, Kum & Go LC presented the organization with a $350,000 gift to preserve and renovate the space, which is scheduled to be completed in early 2014.
The firehouse will include a performance center named the Kum & Go Theater, as well as an art gallery and a classroom.
NOCO Express, its customers and employees made March a very lucky month for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) by donating a record $20,265 in the annual “Share the Shamrock Spirit” in-store campaign. From February 17 to March 17, customers purchased $1 paper shamrocks at NOCO’s 35 locations to benefit MDA.
In 2012, NOCO customers and associates donated $13,115 through the “Share the Shamrock Spirit” campaign.
Tyson Foods Inc.
The Tyson Foods poultry complex in New Holland, Pa., received the American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) Environmental Recognition Award. The complex received the honor for its community-oriented programs and environmental stewardship.
This is the seventh AMIF environmental award the New Holland facility has received since 2005. The New Holland complex primarily supplies chicken products to schools throughout the United States.
The New Holland complex is active year-round in the community by participating in the Lancaster County Youth Conservation School and Warwick School District’s Annual Watershed Day. Tyson team members have also organized a bike team that cycles to raise money for special causes and participates annually in programs like Toys for Tots, Cell Phones for Soldiers and other non-profit programs that benefit the community.
In addition to its community involvement, the New Holland Complex was the 2012 winner of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Environmental Award, and Tyson farmers who provide products to the complex have received the Tyson Poultry Environmental Award 10 times in the last 13 years.