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:
Alta Convenience, a brand of CF Altitude, raised $36,523 through its in-store campaign for its Wings for Life, a nonprofit that raises money for spinal cord research.
As part of the campaign process, Alta customers participated by purchasing paper "red wings" with their names which were posted in the stores. Both customers and employees participated in the cause. Additionally, to help raise money for Wings for Life, Alta employees dressed in their best Luau gear.
Alta Convenience operates 110 convenience stores located in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and New Mexico. This year, the retailer acquired 46 Petro-Mart locations based in St. Louis.
Cenex and Farmers Union Oil of Southern Valley selected Cares for Cancer as its recipient of a $25,000 grant. Cares for Cancer was nominated by Famers Union Oil for its dedication to supporting local community members battling cancer and the families caring for them.
Cares for Cancer awards ten $500 grants each month to help alleviate the burdens community members or their families may be experiencing as they battle their illnesses. The Cenex Hometown Pride 2.0 grant will be used to award an additional 50 $500 grants to community members.
"Cancer is a devastating disease that can take over a person's entire life," said Keith Muehler, petroleum manager of Farmers Union Oil of Southern Valley. "We are extremely grateful to work with Cenex to support organizations like Cares for Cancer."
By the end of 2022, local organizations across the Cenex footprint will have received more than $400,000 in Hometown Pride grants since the program first began in 2019.
"We are overjoyed to know that we are able to make even more of an impact within Hankinson, N.D., and the surrounding communities, thanks to Farmers Union Oil of Southern Valley and Cenex," said Tara Steffens, committee co-chair of Cares for Cancer. "Helping just one additional family would be wonderful, but to award 50 more people with grants means more to us than words can express."
Cenex, the energy brand of CHS, provides refined fuels through nearly 1,400-plus locally owned convenience store locations across 19 states.
GPM Investments LLC
GPM Investments sponsored Friendship Circle of Virginia's inaugural "Inclusion Day at The Diamond" during a baseball game between the Richmond Flying Squirrels and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
The company provided more than 3,300 free tickets for the community to the event, which included increased accessible seating, kids' field activities, ASL services, closed captioning, lower speaker volume and more.
The Friendship Circle of Virginia raised about $45,000 at the event to help support its ongoing free programs for the community. Earlier this year, GPM sponsored the Walk N' Roll fundraising event, which encourages participants to walk, roll, run, scooter or skate to raise money for the organization.
"We're proud to support events like Inclusion Day that bring the local community together," said Michael Bloom, executive vice president and chief marketing and merchandising officer at GPM. "This is meaningful work, and it’s crucial to create spaces that facilitate disability inclusion, and to continue spreading mental health awareness."
The Friendship Circle of Virginia is a nonprofit organization that aims to create an inclusive community by facilitating friendships and social opportunities for people with and without disabilities to connect through meaningful social experiences at home and throughout the community.
GPM Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary of ARKO Corp., a family of community brands, is based in Richmond, Va., and operates or supplies stores in 33 states and Washington, D.C. GPM has approximately 3,100 locations, comprised of roughly 1,415 company-operated stores and 1,675 dealer sites to which it supplies fuel.
Since 2015, Kellogg's achieved its goal of creating better days for more than 1.3 billion people — making progress toward its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goal of creating better days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030.
As part of Kellogg's ESG strategy, the company's Better Days Promiseis to advance sustainable and equitable access to food by addressing the intersection of wellbeing, hunger, sustainability and equity, diversity and inclusion.
"Our founder, W.K. Kellogg, believed that part of running a good business was doing good for society," said Chairman and CEO Steve Cahillane. "By purposefully integrating our ESG strategy — our Kellogg's Better Days Promise — into all aspects of our business, we're driving meaningful social impact and business results."
Its recent ESG report highlighted achievements from 2015 through the end of 2021, including:
More than 1.3 billion better days were created;
800 million people nourished with its foods;
219 million people who are hungry or in crisis were fed;
More than 445,000 farmers and agronomists supported, many of them women and smallholders;
Women account for 44 percent of all global management positions; and
106,000 employee volunteer hours were logged to address food security around the world.
"Our company has achieved strong ESG results as we work toward our promise to advance sustainable and equitable access to food by addressing the intersection of wellbeing, hunger, sustainability and equity, diversity and inclusion," said Kris Bahner, senior vice president, Global Corporate Affairs. "Together with our partners, we envision a day where people are fed and fulfilled, where our planet thrives, and where there is a place at the table for everyone."
Kellogg is working to fulfill its promise through a variety of strategies, from donations to summer meal programs.
The Parker's Community Fund is accepting applications for healthcare funding from qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in coastal Georgia and South Carolina.
An online application is available and all requests for funding must be submitted by Monday, Oct. 31.
The Parker's Community Fund board of directors encourages applicants to think big when applying for funding. Requests for healthcare-related capital campaigns, major expansions, legacy projects, or endowment opportunities designed to make a major impact in the communities Parker's serves in southeast Georgia and coastal South Carolina are strongly encouraged.
As part of the convenience store operator's ongoing commitment to be a force for positive change, Parker's donated $22 million to the Parker's Community Fund.
In recent years, Parker's has endowed the Parker's Emergency and Trauma Center at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Ga., and made a $5 million donation to the Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University.
Stewart's Shops donated to the Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA), which builds, maintains, and advocates for backcountry trails in the greater high peaks region of the Adirondack Park. The alliance is focused on a sense of community for backcountry skiing and mountain biking.
In mid-June, the BETA Trail Crew completed five weeks of work in Elizabethtown, N.Y. The town is working toward a new, multi-use community path for nonmotorized activities.
Stewart's Shops donated to the alliance to help with its East Branch Community Trails project. These trails will allow hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, and non-motorized winter travelers to access key points of the property and serve as the backbone of the larger trail system, according to the retailer.
All trails will maintain a natural character by being built sustainably and with an effort to blend with the natural landscape.
Volta Oil, its 18 Rapid Refill locations and Garrett's Family Market partnered with the Purple Pump Up for Alzheimer's campaign. This year’s efforts raised more than $170,000 during its annual seven-week campaign.
The campaign, which ran from May 27 through July 18, gave patrons at participating locations across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island the option to give donations both inside stores and at the gas pumps. The recent fundraising drive brought the total amount raised in its11-year history to $1.1 million.
"It is incredible to see Purple Pump Up reach the $1 million milestone — a clear testament to Volta Oil's commitment, and the generosity of its customers, to make a difference in the fight to end Alzheimer's," said Jim Wessler, CEO of the Alzheimer's Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. "We are so grateful for this partnership, which continues to have a direct impact on supporting vital research and essential programs and services in our local communities."
Purple Pump Up is the largest convenience store cause-marketing campaign in the country to bolster awareness and raise funds for the care, support, and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.