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:
Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B) committed to seven new global goals that address the company’s key environmental priorities. The goals focus on addressing the challenges faced by key areas for beverage facilities and barley growing regions. In addition, A-B will continue to improve operational efficiency by setting goals for further water and energy use reductions and, for the first time, setting global goals on packaging materials reduction and eco-friendly cooler purchases.
A-B aims to reach the goals, which are shared across 24 countries, by the end of 2017. The New Global Environmental Goals are set against a 2012 baseline:
- Reduce water risks and improve water management in 100 percent of its key barley growing regions in partnership with local stakeholders.
- Engage in watershed protection measures at 100 percent of its facilities located in key areas in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Mexico, Peru and the United States, in partnership with local stakeholders.
- Reduce global water usage to a leading-edge 3.2 hectoliters of water per hectoliter of production, which is equivalent to about 5,400 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
- Reduce global greenhouse gas emissions per hectoliter of production by 10 percent, including a 15-percent reduction per hectoliter in China.
- Reduce global energy usage per hectoliter of production by 10 percent, which is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to light about a quarter of a million night football matches.
- Reduce packaging materials by 100,000 tons, which is equivalent to the weight of about a quarter of a billion full cans of beer.
- Reach a 70-percent global average of eco-friendly cooler purchases annually.
A-B also celebrated World Environment Day through a series of local initiatives.
With the help of the central Michigan community and Blodgett Foodmarts, the 2013 Hearts For Hospice fundraiser campaign raised over $16,000, one dollar at a time, in three weeks.
Hearts for Hospice was founded in 2001 by the Blodgett children’s mother, Joy, to raise money for Woodland Hospice and Morey Bereavement Center in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
In February, the community reached out and went to participating stores and gave $1 to buy a Heart For Hospice. Originally only Blodgett Foodmarts participated in the fundraiser but four years ago, a decision was made to add other locally-owned family businesses to raise more money for Woodland Hospice.
For each Heart For Hospice purchased, a "Thank You" flyer was given out with coupons worth over $30 from all the participating companies. On the flyer, Blodgett Foodmarts had a coupon for a free pint of milk donated by their vendor Prairie Farms Dairy, and a coupon for free coffee from their vendor Coffee Beanery. Both of these Blodgett suppliers have supported this fundraiser for the past four years. In addition, E6 Energy Shot was a new vendor this year for Blodgett in support of the fundraiser and provided a 50-cent off coupon on the flyer.
As an incentive to sell Hearts For Hospice, employee selling contests took place during the three-week fundraiser. Blodgett clerks were creative selling Hearts to their regulars, asking them to spell out their company name in Hearts, or to remember someone they lost by buying enough Hearts to spell out their name. One Blodgett convenience store did a "pay it forward" that lasted for several hours with customers buying a Heart for the next person.
East Buffalo's (New York) Mandela Market and CITGO Marketer Goetz Energy Corp. hosted the first "Fueling Good in Buffalo Day," with special guest Bess the Book Bus. A national mobile literacy outreach program, Bess the Book Bus gave away more than 150 free books to children and engaged with children and families regarding the importance of literacy.
Bess the Book Buss and CITGO also recently visited three Saline, Mich., schools to celebrate literacy and distribute 1,600 free books. More than 1,100 students at Harvest, Heritage and Pleasant Ridge elementary schools picked out their very own books to keep. This year's visits also included read-aloud sessions for students in kindergarten through third grade at each of the three schools.
Bess the Book Bus, a nonprofit organization devoted to extending literacy across the country, has donated more than 350,000 books to children in the United States.
In other CITGO news, six marketers representing more than 150 locally-owned CITGO stations across southeast Michigan participated in the third annual "Month of Mott" campaign, raising nearly $5,500 for the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. From May 1 through May 23, participating CITGO stations sold paper "Mott blocks" for $1. All of the proceeds from this year's campaign were donated to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital car seat safety program called "Mott Buckle Up!"
During the month of May, Jiffy Mart locations in Carroll County (Md.) participated in a campaign to "Give Thanks. Give Hope." for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This is their sixth year participating, and since 2008, Jiffy Mart customers and associates have raised over $35,000 for St. Jude.
Customers were able to purchase a pin-up for $1, sign it and have it hung at the location where it was purchased. The goal at each store participating was to raise $1,500. Each Jiffy Mart store exceeded their fundraising goal, and Jiffy Marts corporate team and its employees contributed, collectively donating $10,000 directly to St. Jude Research Hospital.
Marfood USA partnered with Operation Gratitude to donate up to $100,000 worth of Pemmican Beef Jerky to deployed U.S. troops. Specially marked Pemmican – Operation Gratitude shipper displays will be in stores through mid-July to support the program. For every 3.25-ounce bag of beef jerky sold to its customers during this time period, Pemmican will donate a bag of beef jerky to Operation Gratitude to include in care packages to deployed military personnel.
Since 2011 when Pemmican first partnered with Operation Gratitude, nearly $125,000 in beef jerky has been donated to deployed military personnel as a result of the program.