Community Service Spotlight: Casey's General Stores, Cenex & Dole Food Co.

Love's Travel Stops, Maverik — Adventure's First Stop, RaceTrac, S&G Stores, Sheetz, The Spinx Co. and Stewart's Shops also gave 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.

[Read more: Community Service Spotlight: CITGO, Kum & Go & Nittany MintMart]

Here are the latest company spotlights:

Casey's Cash for Classrooms logo

Casey's General Stores Inc.

Casey's General Stores kicked off its in-store Cash for Classrooms campaign, which will run through Sept. 5.

To support America's future generation of leaders, guests can round up their purchases each time they visit a Casey's store. 

"Learning is the foundation to sparking curiosity and creating brighter futures for kids," said Katie Petru, director, communications and community at Casey's. "Through our Cash for Classrooms program, we're helping bring meaningful projects and innovative initiatives to life, in Casey's communities now and for years to come."

Since 2020, the program has raised $3 million for students, families and educators through a combination of the round-up donations and Casey's partnership with LIFEWTR. Grants have been awarded to more than 250 schools across the c-store chain's 16-state footprint. In 2022, 79 grants were awarded to K-12 public and nonprofit, private schools in 75 Casey's communities.

The funding priorities through the program include projects supporting physical improvements, material needs, teacher support and community engagement initiatives in the areas Casey's serves. 

The 2023 grant application opens in October and is available here.

Cenex Prairie Grant wheelchair race participant


Cenex, in partnership with Pinnacle Cooperative, awarded Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports with a $25,000 Hometown Pride grant for its commitment to building an inclusive community and its core work to help those impacted by physical and mental disabilities participate in sports and recreational activities to enhance the lives of those who are differently abled.

The nonprofit creates opportunities for children and adults with a wide range of abilities to participate in sports activities through adaptive tools and programming, removing the barriers that can make it difficult to play or engage within their community.

The $25,000 Hometown Pride grant will help the organization to purchase additional sports wheelchairs, eliminating the high financial burden for those unable to participate without adaptive equipment, according to the organization.

To date, Cenex has invested more than $475,000 in local organizations since the Hometown Pride grant initiative began in 2019. 

Cenex is the energy brand of CHS Inc.

Dole Food Co.

In the wake of the devastating wildfires on Maui this month, Dole Food Co. and Dole Fruit Hawaii are donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross in Hawaii and $50,000 to the Maui Food Bank to help with relief and recovery efforts on the island.

The company traces its roots back to Hawaii in 1851 and still maintains a presence there with its Oahu-based subsidiary.

Dole is actively encouraging other companies with a presence in Hawaii to provide financial and other assistance to those impacted by the Maui fires and hopes its own donations can serve as an example for future efforts, the company stated.

St. Christopher Trucker Relief logo

Love's Travel Stops

Love's Travel Stops donated $100,000 to the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund, which helps cover expenses — including rent, mortgage, utilities, insurance and vehicle payments — when drivers are unable to work due to injury or illness. It also provides free health and wellness programs for professional truck drivers.

[Read more: Love's Completes First Rebranding Following EZ GO Deal]

"Professional drivers are a vital part of the nation's economy and industry, and they mean so much to us at Love's," said Jenny Love Meyer, executive vice president and chief culture officer at Love's. "It's essential to support them during hardships, and we're proud to support St. Christopher in its efforts to be there for drivers at their most challenging times."

Now in its fourth year supporting the organization, Love's first donated to St. Christopher in April 2020, when it gave $100,000 to aid drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professional truck drivers in need of assistance can apply online via the St. Christopher website.

Maverik Adventure's First Stop

Maverik — Adventure's First Stop, in conjunction with Swire Coca-Cola, donated $686,576 to the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. 

All funds were raised as part of a Round Up Your Change summer register donation program that ran at Maverik stores. The program's total of $411,576 will be supplemented by a $250,000 donation from Maverik, along with an additional donation in the same amount by Swire.  

The funds will be used to support the NPF's flagship youth program, Open OutDoors for Kids. Since 2011, the program has served nearly 2 million students, many from under-resourced school districts and Title 1 schools, through funding field trips, educational resources, virtual experiences and classroom visits, connecting students and educators to national parks. 

The Maverik-led donation will benefit approximately 20,000 additional students through activating the program at more than 30 national park sites across the c-store chain's footprint. 

Runners' feet in RaceTrace 5K Race

RaceTrac Inc.

RaceTrac will be bringing back its annual Run for Research 5K race on September 16 at Truist Park in Atlanta, where participants will cross the finish line on the field inside the Atlanta Braves stadium. All proceeds — including 100 percent of registration fees — will go directly to The Michael J. Fox Foundation's global research programs seeking better treatments and a cure for Parkinson's disease.

The event begins at 7:30 a.m. with a 1K run/walk, followed by the 5K run/walk at 8 a.m. Free food, prizes, music and more are included with the price of registration. Additionally, new for this year's event, runners who are not able to attend the race in person but are still eager to participate can select the Virtual 5K sign-up option on the registration page.  

Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are invited to register for the race at the level they feel most comfortable at. Run for Research is also a pre-qualifier for the 2024 Peachtree Road Race.

The theme of this year's race is "Race for Fox in your Craziest Socks," with participants encouraged to show their enthusiasm by wearing their brightest, loudest knee-high socks.

RaceTrac's Run for Research is part of the company's wider RaceTrac Gives Back initiative, which includes an annual in-store round-up campaign held each April to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation. This year, more than $700,000 was raised.

S&G presents sponsorship check to ICGT

S&G Stores LLC

Dan Ridi, founder and CEO of S&G Stores LLC, entered into a five year sponsorship with the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo (ICGT).  

As part of the partnership, Ridi contributed $60,000 to help support ICGT's Annual International Festival, while S&G will serve as the event's primary sponsor. For the next five years, S&G will also be the primary sponsor for the ICGT's children's activities for the Eid al-Fitr holiday festivities, which celebrates the breaking of the fast at the end of Ramadan.

[Read more: Several New Enhancements in the Works for S&G Stores]

S&G presently owns and operates 66 convenience store locations throughout Toledo, Findlay and Dayton, Ohio, as well as in Monroe, Mich. The company has been voted The Toledo Blade Readers Choice Award Winner for the Best Convenience store chain in Toledo for the last three consecutive years.  

Sheetz Inc.

Throughout the month of July, Sheetz raised $660,863 for Sheetz For the Kidz, an employee-driven charity supporting children in need.

Every year, in July and December, customers at more than 680 stores are able to support local families in need of clothes, toys and other basic needs by making a donation at check-out through change boxes or adding funds to their purchase at the point of sale.

In 2022, customers raised a total of $1.6 million through in-store fundraising in July and December, which helped support more than 11,000 children within the six states Sheetz operates. 

Since its founding in 1992, the organization has positively impacted more than 160,000 children living in the communities Sheetz serves. Sheetz for the Kidz additionally works in partnership with both the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Feeding America.

Spinx representatives present a donation check

The Spinx Co.

Greenville, N.C.-based the Spinx Co. donated $120,000 across four local charities: the American Red Cross, Greenville Free Medical Clinic, Loaves and Fishes, and Safe Harbor.  

The money was raised during the organization's annual Charity Classic Golf Tournament at the Greenville and Green Valley Country Clubs in May. More than 250 people participated in the event.

The ceremonial check was presented to representatives from each organization at Spinx Night at the Greenville Drive game on July 20.

"Since 1972 when our first location opened, Spinx has been dedicated to providing support to local organizations that are a vital part of the Upstate community," said Stewart Spinks, Spinx founder. "Hosting this charitable event with the opportunity to provide money to our beneficiaries is a remarkable honor and one we look forward to each year."

Spinx chose beneficiaries that were aligned with its corporate charitable mission: "Spinx & Kids: Mind, Body, Spirit. Growing healthy kids where we live, work and play."

Stewart's Shops

Stewart's Shops and The Dake Family donated $25,000 to the Hyde Collection, a small art museum with distinguished European and American art collections that include work from varied artists such as El Greco, Pablo Picasso and James McNeill Whistler. 

Representatives from Stewart's Shops presented the check to the museum on a recent visit to Glens Falls, N.Y. The donation will be used to fund the organization's 2023 educational offerings.  

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As lead education sponsors for the season, Stewart's Shops and The Dake Family are the signature underwriters of the overall programming calendar for 2023, which is designed to offer enriching opportunities to guests of all ages and interests.

Highlights of the 2023 schedule at the Hyde include a performing arts series based on an upcoming exhibition, Songs of the Horizon: David Smith, Music, and Dance; summer classes for third to sixth graders; and acrylic painting classes led by local artist Patrice Jarvis-Weber.