Community Service Spotlight: CITGO Petroleum Corp., CEFCO & EG America

GPM Investments, Mirabito Convenience Stores, Parker's Kitchen and Smithfield Foods Inc. also gave back to the communities they serve.

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: Alta Convenience, AAFES & Nittany MinitMart]

Here are the latest company spotlights:

Advertisement - article continues below
United Way logo

CITGO Petroleum Corp.

The CITGO Lemont Refinery in Illinois provided nearly $300,000 in funds and grants to local organizations and nonprofit chapters in the past few months.

This past fall, the company raised more than $200,000 for the United Way of Will County via its annual employee giving campaign and a direct donation from CITGO Petroleum Corp. A total of 150 employees participated with additional support provided by the United Steel Workers Union. The campaign launched with an Oktoberfest-themed companywide picnic that featured live polka music from the Die Musikmeisters Band, as well as pretzels and sausages. 

The funds raised will be used to support more than 78 programs throughout Will County that fall within United Way's impact areas of education, economic mobility, and health and wellness. 

The Lemont Refinery also recently awarded first responder grants totaling more than $80,000 to Illinois-based agencies in Lemont, Lockport, Romeoville and Will County as a continuation of the CITGO Community Awareness Emergency Response (CAER) program.

The Will County Emergency Management Agency; Romeoville, Lemont and Lockport Police Departments; the Lemont and Lockport Fire Districts; and the Will County Sheriff's Office will use the funds for various educational and disaster relief purposes, focusing on better preparation for communities.

The CITGO Lemont Refinery CAER Council was formed in 2002 to share information and increase understanding and cooperation between CITGO, community leaders and communities regarding safety, the environment and emergency response. The council is made up of police, fire, other community leaders and refinery leadership. 

American Heart Association logo and Life is Why campaign tagline


In February, CEFCO convenience stores ran a round-up fundraiser on behalf of the American Heart Association (AHA) and its Life Is Why campaign. CEFCO's 190-plus locations provided shoppers the opportunity to round up their purchases either at the gas pump or inside. 

"Seeing a company as big as CEFCO help raise money for the American Heart Association is huge because the company is reaching thousands of people a day and the difference that the money raised from this campaign is going to change lives," said Courtney Greger, an AHA volunteer.

The donations will be used to fund research, train high school students in CPR, and support the work of local entrepreneurs and organizations helping to improve health outcomes in under-resourced communities.

CEFCO began its support of AHA in 2010 by supporting the Bell County Heart Ball and is committed through 2024.

Advertisement - article continues below
EG America leadership presents a donation check to Disabled American Veterans

EG America

Through its fifth annual fundraiser for Disabled American Veterans (DAV), EG America raised $750,000 for the nonprofit which provides a lifetime of support to veterans and their families.

[Read more: EG America Bolsters Leadership Team]

In November 2023, guests at EG America's Certified Oil, Cumberland Farms, Fastrac, Kwik Shop, Loaf N' Jug, Minit Mart, Quik Stop, Sprint Food Stores, Tom Thumb and Turkey Hill stores were encouraged to donate $1, $5 or an amount of their choosing to DAV.

"We are honored to support the critical services and benefits DAV provides to veterans across the nation," said EG America President John Carey. "Thanks to the tremendous generosity of our guests and the collective efforts of our team members, EG America has surpassed all previous years' donation amounts, raising more than $3 million for DAV since the beginning of our partnership."

DAV provides a range of programs for veterans — including benefits assistance, employment resources, and transportation to and from medical appointments — at no cost to them. 

Muscular Dystrophy Association logo

GPM Investments LLC

In 2023, ARKO Corp. subsidiary GPM Investments LLC raised more than $193,000 in customer donations during its 13th annual holiday pinup campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The company has overall raised more than $2 million for the organization since 2011. 

GPM stores hold the annual campaign to benefit MDA's work by giving customers the option to purchase an MDA pinup for $1 or $5, or round up their purchase. Each customer who purchased a pinup received coupons as GPM's way of saying "thank you" for their generosity. All signed pinups were prominently displayed in each store. 

"We're grateful for our customers and dedicated employees who make this important fundraiser successful every year, giving children and young adults living with neuromuscular diseases the life changing opportunity of MDA Summer Camp, where they experience joy and understanding with friends and devoted counselors," said Arie Kotler, GPM president and CEO.

Through fundraisers like the GPM campaign, MDA funds research and provides critical services to families who are living with muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related neuromuscular diseases.

Honor Flight Network logo

Mirabito Convenience Stores

Mirabito Convenience Stores launched a new round-up campaign across all its locations for the Honor Flight Network.

Throughout March, the company will invite customers to round up their purchases at the register, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Honor Flight hubs located within the company's service areas in upstate New York. 

The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization that offers veterans the opportunity to visit the memorials dedicated to their service free of charge to them. Each hub is organized by volunteers through participating airports and bus stations, with donations used to provide transportation, admission to their memorials and accommodations at no cost to each veteran. 

Dedication ceremony of new Gregory M. Parker ER Department at Roper St. Francis

Parker's Kitchen

Parker's Kitchen celebrated a ribbon cutting for the new Gregory M. Parker Emergency Department at Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, S.C., on Jan. 29. 

All six emergency departments throughout the healthcare network were formally named in honor of Parker's Kitchen founder and CEO Gregory Parker, who provided a landmark $5 million gift to the hospital system. The donation established a community impact fund to support uninsured and underinsured residents throughout the greater Charleston area, as well as healthcare provider support initiatives at Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

"Parker's Kitchen and Roper St. Francis Healthcare share the same commitment to excellence and serve the same community in Charleston," Parker said. "Emergency rooms take care of everyone, regardless of their age, race or faith — and that's true at Parker's Kitchen as well. Like Roper St. Francis Healthcare, we are dedicated to serving all people."

[Read more: Parker's Kitchen Earns Workplace Honors in South Carolina]

The community impact fund will continue to enhance existing system priorities, including the Transitions Clinic, an outpatient clinic for uninsured and underinsured patients; debt-free degree programs and career development for Roper St. Francis teammates; and youth apprenticeships, which provide on-the-job training for historically marginalized communities.

A Ripe for Revival mobile food bus

Smithfield Foods Inc.

Smithfield Foods Inc. donated $100,000 to fund a mobile food retail market that will provide fresh food in food deserts throughout southeastern North Carolina.

Ripe for Revival, a nonprofit founded to address food insecurity, used the donations to purchase a bus that will offer fresh, local, healthy food to the public, including many families experiencing food insecurity, at pay-what-you-can prices. Smithfield's donation brings Ripe for Revival's fleet up to a total of five buses.

"Having access to affordable food is a significant issue in rural communities," said Steve Evans, vice president of community development for Smithfield Foods. "We are focused on improving food access, and we're building capacity to fill the need. This innovative partnership with Ripe for Revival will meet our neighbors where they are and provide fresh food everyone can afford."

Ripe for Revival's mobile markets currently sell local produce, meat and dairy at up to a dozen sites per week in Beaufort, Edgecombe, Halifax, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt and Wake counties in North Carolina. In addition to funding the bus, Smithfield's donation will also provide operational support to expand Ripe for Revival's mobile market service area to Sampson County.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds