Community Service Spotlight: Cumberland Farms, Farmer Bros. & MillerCoors
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.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
Through its “Believe & Achieve” program, Cumberland Farms provided $1,000 scholarships to 130 high school seniors for the 11th executive year. The annual program awards 130 eligible high school seniors with $1,000-scholarships across Cumberland Farms’ service area.
This year, $130,000 Believe & Achieve scholarships were awarded to: 48 students in Massachusetts; 24 in Florida; 11 in New York; 13 in New Hampshire; 12 in Connecticut; five in Maine; eight in New Jersey and Pennsylvania; six in Vermont; and three in Rhode Island.
Cumberland Farms has provided more than $1.1 million in critical financial assistance to more than 1,100 students since launching the scholarship more than a decade ago.
The convenience store operator also made a unique move in some of its Upstate New York stores. Cumberland Farms installed biohazard needle depository containers in their men and women’s bathrooms as a measure to keep its customers safe.
"Like many retailers, Cumberland Farms has experienced instances of drug usage in our bathrooms. We made a proactive company decision to install these cabinets in areas where we have seen bathroom drug usage as a means to keep our customers and employees safe from being exposed to the used needles/syringes. We are committed to doing everything we can to minimize any drug usage within our properties, as well as to keep all our employees and customers safe from this type of activity,” the company said in a statement.
Continuing its commitment to promote food quality and freshness, Emerson sponsored a rider during Tour de Fresh, a three-day cycling event that raises funds to benefit the national Salad Bars to Schools initiative.
The mission of Salad Bars to Schools is to place a salad bar in every U.S. school food service program so all children have daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins, according to Emerson. Since 2014, the event has raised $435,310 and funded equipment for 142 salad bars around the country. This year’s event took place July 25-27 on the California coast.
Farmer Bros. Co.
Farmer Bros. Co. released its 2016 Sustainability Report, in which it made considerable progress against its sustainability goals, the company said. Among some of the strives made include:
- 7.2% reduction in CO2e emitted per kilograms of coffee sold;
- 83.9% of the company’s coffee importers have committed to uphold the UN Global Compact in their businesses; and
- 250,000-gallon reduction in diesel emissions into the atmosphere.
“We are actively reinforcing our commitment to continuous improvement by holding ourselves accountable to measurable goals that impact people, profit and planet,” said Molly Laverty, director of sustainability. “In addition to the progress we’ve made within our organization, Farmer Brothers achieved a significant goal as the first coffee focused company to earn approval for its Science Based Targets.”
In a step closer to reaching its 2020 goal to manage and reduce agricultural risks in 100 percent of key barley-growing regions, MillerCoors used 15 billion fewer gallons of water across its value chain in 2016. The company used 16.9 percent less water vs. 2015 — the equivalent of more than 500 million kegs of beer.
The reduction can be attributed to changes in farming techniques that include innovative tools and irrigation initiatives that use less water while still producing high-quality barley, along with increased brewery efficiencies, according to MillerCoors.
Also in 2016, MillerCoors launched the Grower Portal, a digital platform for information gathering to further enhance water savings and eventually lead to data sharing among users. Additionally, the company is working alongside Morson Coors to develop new 2025 Global Goals, which will include water stewardship targets.
On July 13, 14 volunteers from QuickChek’s headquarters and various stores sorted and boxed donations at Fulfill, the food bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Neptune, N.J., to feed thousands of area families in need.
Fulfill is the fourth area food bank that QuickChek supports. The others are the Community Food Bank in Hillside, N.J., and food banks in New York’s Hudson Valley and on Long Island.
“Being in the food business, partnering with the community food banks where we have stores was a natural fit when we were looking for new ways to get further involved with our local communities,” said QuickChek CEO Dean Durling.
Rutter’s Farm Stores
Pennsylvania-based Rutter’s donated more than $63,000 to seven different charitable organizations in the Duncansivlle/Altoona, Pa., area during the company’s Duncansville store opening on July 20.
These organizations received a donation at the store’s grand opening:
- Penn-Mont Academy: $25,000
- Second Century Scholarship Fund: $25,000
- Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation: $10,000
- Allegheny Township Police Department: $1,000
- Allegheny Township Volunteer Fire Department: $1,000
- Duncansville Borough Police Department: $700
- Music 4-R Vets: $500
For the 12th consecutive year, Sheetz for the Kidz partnered with Make-A-Wish to sponsor families of seriously ill children so they can experience a weeklong vacation to Orlando, Fla. The campaign will send 54 families on a cost-free vaction.
Throughout the month of July, the c-store’s customers supported Sheetz for the Kidz through in-store fundraising, as well as:
- Donating at checkout;
- Purchasing a Sheetz for the Kidz water, with 25 cents from each bottle supporting the charity;
- Buying any Coca-Cola 20-ounce carbonated soft drink from July 1-31, and Coca-Cola donating 5 cents to support Sheetz for the Kidz;
- Shopping on AmazonSmile and selecting Sheetz for the Kidz as the charity of choice, and Amazon donating .5 percent of the purchase to the charity; and
- Going to sheetzforthekidz.org to donate online.
A main fundraising event for the organization continues to be the annual Sheetz for the Kidz Golf Classic, which celebrated its 19th year in May. This year, the event raised more than $700,000.
TravelCenters of America
TravelCenters of American kicked off its annual campaign Aug. 1 in support of the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF), a nonprofit organization that helps truck drivers suffering financial hardships due to medical conditions. The month-long campaign will run at participating TA and Petro locations through Aug. 31.
During the campaign, customers and employees are encouraged to make contributions, as well as purchase commemorative wristbands and SCF keychains for $1 and $5 contributions. One-hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to SCF.
TravelCenters has been supporting drivers through the SCF since 2010. The TA and Petro annual campaign marks the largest single contribution the Fund receives each year, according to the travel center operator.