Community Service Spotlight: Gilbarco, PepsiCo & VERC
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:
Aloha Petroleum Ltd.
The Aloha State convenience retailer donated $8,314.67 to the Boys & Girls Clubs in Hawaii. Funds were raised through the company’s ongoing canister collection program at statewide participating Aloha Island Mart stores.
"The aloha our customers continue to show non-profits through our in-store canister program is truly amazing," said Gary Altman, general manager of company operated stores for Aloha Petroleum, Ltd. "Their support allows us to empower local non-profits like the Boys & Girls Club to continue their outstanding work."
Employees of Alto-Shaam, a commercial kitchen equipment manufacturer, teamed up in early September to ship school supplies, clothing and more than $200 in cash to the Houston Independent School District's supply drive following Hurricane Harvey.
"We wanted to do our small part to help show these families in Houston that we care about them and their futures as they start to rebuild their lives," said Sarah Millard, senior communications specialist for Alto-Shaam. "It’s gratifying to know that our employees came together and gave generously to these families.
"Alto-Shaam team members already donate to non-profit organizations like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but our employees went above and beyond by donating what they could in the wake of Hurricane Harvey," she added.
As part of a new fundraising partnership between ARCO and Goodwill Industries of San Diego County (GISD), customers can make cash donations from Oct. 9 through Nov. 10 at 118 ARCO gas stations and ampm convenience stores.
Those who donate to the non-profit when making their purchases at ARCO will help further the organization’s mission of "providing employment and training opportunities to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment," according to a GISD statement.
ARCO and ampm customers will also see community fundraising events at participating stations and stores during the partnership campaign, with product giveaways from companies such as Rock Star and Coca-Cola.
"We are proud to work with Goodwill San Diego and are excited to give back to the communities we serve," said Robert Bezner, senior director of brand management for ARCO. "We believe the funds raised will supply GISD with additional resources to further their mission."
Fuel retailers and convenience store chains partnered with GasBuddy via Business Pages to support the company’s mission to provide accurate site data to service their customers in the hurricane-affected areas. GasBuddy activated tracking capabilities that allowed users to report if stations were out of fuel, diesel or power both in-app and online at tracker.gasbuddy.com.
The Business Pages team also built a robust reporting system to provide real-time market-level analysis to each retailer. This system enabled them to: identify outages in a given area and quickly see which markets were most-affected by the storm; assess current wait times at specific locations and markets, and react accordingly; and view the price spread at both the market and station level to understand which markets struggled to keep up with demand.
Among those retailers who partnered with GasBuddy were: Phillips 66, 76, Conoco, Marathon, 7-Eleven, Murphy USA, Costco, Cumberland Farms and Love’s.
On Oct. 2, more than 150 Gilbarco employees joined forces to give back to their communities, alongside more than 175 other Foritive company locations, as part of the Day of Caring initiative. Employees were given a full work day to volunteer as part of a team, or with a community organization of their choice.
Throughout the day, Gilbarco employees contributed an estimated 12,000 hours to cleaning up parks and recreational areas, visiting schools and assisted living centers, making care packages for veterans and hurricane relief, and packing toiletry and snack kits for those in need.
"With over 1,500 employees in the area, Gilbarco is committed to supporting the community by giving back its time and resources," said Steve Moule, president of Gilbarco North America. "We have a long history of working actively to enhance and help our community. We are pleased to extend that tradition to kick off our first Fortive Day of Caring."
PepsiCo and Feed the Children partnered to provide 32,000 pounds of food and essentials to help families in Detroit, Mich. This was the eighth year in a row the two organizations united to provide two semi-trucks full of goods to qualifying members of the Detroit community.
Each qualifying recipient, identified and preselected by Second Ebenezer Church, received:
- One 25-pound box of nonperishable food items;
- One 10-pound box of personal-care items;
- One box of AVON products;
- An assortment of Frito-Lay snacks;
- Pepsi beverages;
- Life Original Cereal;
- Quaker Standard Oatmeal;
- Quaker Breakfast Flats; and
- Fresh produce provided by Sam's Club and Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers.
"We're excited to partner with Feed the Children, Sam's Club, Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers and Second Ebenezer Church helping our friends and neighbors in the Detroit community," said Rachel Hibbs, senior sales director, Detroit metro market, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division. "Frito-Lay and PepsiCo are committed to giving back to our communities where we live and work, and providing food and daily essentials is a small way we can help make a difference."
Similar events will be hosted in other major U.S. cities throughout the remainder of the year.
Rutter's Farm Stores
Rutter’s donated $50,000 among five charities over the course of the summer. The donations will be used for scholarship funding.
Each of the following organizations received a $10,000-donation: United Way of Franklin County; United Way of Carlisle and Cumberland County; Hanover YMCA; Hanover YWCA; and the Vista School.
"Supporting the communities where our stores are located is part of our core values. These donations will help children receive the education they need and deserve, and we are honored to be able to assist them with their efforts," said Derek Gaskins, chief customer officer, Rutter’s.
In the past decade, Rutter’s Children’s Charities has donated more than $6 million to support charities in the local communities it serves, according to the company.
Speedway — the nation's second-largest chain of company-owned and -operated convenience stores — will donate $250,000 to charitable organizations in Florida to assist with recovery from Hurricane Irma.
The $250,000-donation will be divided among the following organizations:
- $120,000 to Volunteer Florida
- $75,000 to United Way of Collier County
- $25,000 to United Way of Miami Dade
- $30,000 to local charities in Jacksonville, Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale
"We have more than 240 convenience stores in Florida and are committed to helping our friends, neighbors and employees recover from this devastating storm," said Speedway President Anthony R. Kenney. "Speedway's parent company, Marathon Petroleum Corp., also has terminal operations and employees in Florida. Together, we are honored to be able to help those in need."
The Massachusetts retailer financially sponsored and participated in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk at DCR Pilgrim Memorial State Park in Plymouth, Mass., on Sept. 23.
The walk was one of several throughout the country facilitated by Best Buddies International, which raises awareness and funds to support those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The Best Buddies Friendship Walk plays a key role in funding Best Buddies programs dedicated to one-to-one friendships, leadership development and integrated job opportunities for individuals with IDD.
In addition to financial sponsorship of the walk, VERC employees and friends participated in the fundraising event. A donation jar was placed at Mayflower Provisions in Plymouth for customers to help support the team. A portion of proceeds made from VERC’s Briteway car wash locations in Marshfield and Norwell on Sept. 16 were also donated to the walk.