Community Service Spotlight

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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 ahead. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these philanthropic efforts in this special section.

Here are the latest company spotlights:

BP plc

A recent grant from BP plc to the Ashland Area YMCA in Kentucky will help the organization roll out a new sports program for youths. The $20,000 grant was secured with the help of John Clark Oil, which is affiliated with the petroleum company.

Jerry Dixon, YMCA director, said the money will primarily benefit area youths already being served by the charity. It will allow the YMCA to move forward on projects that could have otherwise taken years to implement, he noted.

Grant funds will also be used to expand the snack options for preschoolers in the YMCA program.

In addition, $3,000 of the grant money the YMCA received above its $17,000 request will be set aside for scholarships that will be available for memberships and program fees.

CHS Inc.

The CHS Foundation awarded $75,000 in scholarships (75 $1,000 scholarships) to college students studying agriculture. This year's recipients include 50 high school seniors and 25 two-year college students from 28 states.

The CHS Foundation is the major giving entity of CHS Inc., a leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company.

CITGO Petroleum Corp.

Through its private Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc., CITGO Petroleum Corp. funded nearly $1.25 million in grants for 32 South Bronx programs in the areas of arts and culture, education, environment and health to serve the local community.

CITGO created the Bronx Social Programs in 2007 to promote a brighter future for the South Bronx, where 38 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

An advisory board of South Bronx residents, educators, community organizers and other leaders reviewed nearly 100 grant applications and recommended 32 programs that were selected by the Simón Bolívar Foundation to receive funding.

The 2013 grants include seven arts and culture programs, seven environmental initiatives, seven health programs and 11 education-focused programs. The selected programs range from afterschool initiatives to arts and culture events to an urban farming project and green jobs training.

Since 2007, CITGO and the Simón Bolívar Foundation have provided more than $6 million in grants to more than 70 unique, tax-exempt South Bronx-based organizations.

The Coca-Cola Co.

The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded recycling containers to colleges, K-12 schools, nonprofits and local governments. The winning communities, schools, universities and organizations will receive between 5,000 and 5,200 recycling bins.

More than 70 percent of the bins are designed specifically for permanent, ongoing use in heavily-trafficked public spaces and events, with the remaining 30 percent to be used by students in college residence halls.

Now in its eighth year, The Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Recycling Bin Grant Program recognizes the significant need for public space recycling bins with over 1,200 applications received, a 22-percent increase in applications from 2012. Overall, 479 applications were from local governments, 143 from colleges, 312 from K-12 schools and 193 from nonprofits.

Tyson Foods Inc.

Tyson Foods Inc.’s disaster relief teams served more than 80,000 meals to survivors and rescue workers in the aftermath of last month’s devastating tornado in Moore, Okla.

The company’s 53-foot Meals that Matter mobile feeding unit left the company’s Springdale, Ark., headquarters the day after the tornado hit. Aboard the semi-trailer were thousands of pounds of food, ice and other essential supplies.

More than 70 Tyson employees from 18 different company locations were involved in the relief effort in Moore, working an estimated 3,000 man hours. They served three meals a day, which included breakfast burritos, omelets, chicken sandwiches, pork loin, hot dogs, hamburgers and steaks.

The company worked closely with the National Guard and other organizations to distribute food to the affected areas and was one of the primary ice suppliers. At the end of a two-week, on-the-ground effort, the company served approximately 73,000 pounds of food and 90,000 pounds of ice -- a combined value of more than $247,000.

VPS Convenience Store Group

VPS Convenience Store Group hosted its 30th annual Summer Swing Golf Tournament and Auction benefitting the Boy Scouts of America, Cape Fear Council. To date, VPS has contributed more than $1.2 million to the Cape Fear Council Scouting program, which covers an eight-county area of southeastern North Carolina.

All money raised from the event goes directly to the Boy Scouts to provide financial assistance for any scout who needs help to participate in activities or attend summer camp. The funds also support the Council’s “Scoutreach” program to inner-cities and rural areas of southeastern North Carolina.