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Community Service Spotlight: NOCO, Chevron & Enmark

NATIONAL REPORT — Giving back through community service efforts and charity 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:

Chevron Corp.

Velma-Alma Public Schools of Velma-Alma, Okla., received a $75,000 donation from Chevron to purchase computers and help with the cost of building a new science facility. The school district used the funds to purchase 52 computers to replace out-of-date ones.

Chevron donated $30,000 to the school district in 2013 and $40,000 in 2014, allowing the district to purchase iPads for students, according to the company. 

CHS Inc.

The CHS Foundation invites high-school students to apply for a $1,000 scholarship from the foundation now through April 1. CHS will award more than 300 scholarships, 100 of which will be given to high-school students pursuing agricultural-related degrees at colleges and universities across the country. Students pursuing a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field of study with an interest in agriculture will also be considered.

In addition to the 100 high-school scholarships, CHS will award more than 200 scholarships to students currently enrolled in an agricultural-related degree at partnering two- and four-year colleges throughout the United States and Canada. Last year, CHS awarded 240 scholarships to agriculture students at 80 colleges across the United States. 

Enmark Stations

Enmark’s Encourage Health Education Series announced its 2015 lineup and selected benefiting 501c(3) nonprofit organizations. The series will feature four presentations throughout the year from the area’s most respected experts sharing insights on nutrition, fitness and general tips for healthy living.

Selected nonprofits will be awarded a $2,000 grant from Encourage Health Education sponsors and allotted an "Enmark Dollar Day," along with a chance to win a prize at the end of the series. Last year, Enmark Stations hosted the inaugural Encourage Health Education Series and raised $7,200 for Savannah, Ga.-area 501c(3) organizations. 

The Hershey Co.

The Hershey Co. announced that 30 percent of its globally sourced cocoa is independently certified and verified — reflecting an accelerated pace for achieving its goal of sourcing 100 percent of its cocoa supply from certified and sustainable cocoa farms by 2020.

In 2013, the company achieved sourcing 18 percent certified cocoa globally, nearly doubling its original goal of 10 percent for the first year of its 2020 commitment. Hershey also announced a new target to source at least 50 perfect certified cocoa by the end of 2015, reaching its 2016 goal of 40-50 percent one year ahead of schedule.

Currently, Hershey is sourcing certified cocoa through three of the world’s largest, most recognized cocoa certifications: UTZ Certified, Fair Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance Certified. Additionally, in the past year, Hershey has expanded its work with industry partners to build sustainable farm training through the Hershey Learn to Grow program in Ghana, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.

NOCO Express

NOCO Express stores, customers and employees raised $11,000 to support Friends of Night People, a charitable organization that helps the poor, homeless and destitute in Buffalo, N.Y., by providing food, clothing, medical care and counseling to those in need. Throughout the month of November, paper plates were sold for $1 each at all of NOCO Express’ 37 locations with all proceeds benefiting Friends of Night People. 

QuikTrip Corp. 

Plano, Texas-based City House, an official Safe Place, is working with QuikTrip locations in Collin and Denton counties to help young people in need of immediate help and safety. These store locations have yellow Safe Place signs posted prominently so those looking for safety may find it.

Youths — who may be runaways, homeless, abused or kicked out of the house, or who are in any unsafe situation — can go to a QuikTrip store 24 hours a day, seven days a week and request help from the c-store’s employees, who will immediately contact City House. Those who stop for help at QuikTrip locations in Dallas County will be connected with Jonathan’s Place in Garland, and those in Tarrant County will be connected with ACH Child and Family Services in Fort Worth.

In a separate initiative, QuikTrip has partnered with the national nonprofit organization Folds of Honor to sponsor the March 1 NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The organization, based in Oklahoma, aids the families of veterans who have been killed or disabled while serving. The "Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500" will be the second race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. 

Rich Products Corp.

Rich Products teamed up with Pizzas 4 Patriots to hand off 5,000 pizzas to troops serving in Afghanistan in time for Super Bowl Sunday, so they could enjoy a taste of home while watching the big game.

The Crest Hill, Ill., Rich Products team prepared 291 insulated containers, each holding 15 16-inch cheese pizzas and enough dry ice to keep them frozen until they reached their first stop in Kuwait en route to Afghanistan. The pizza was distributed to Bagram Airbase and then various Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan. Rich’s DHL Express provided final door-to-door delivery of pies and worked closely with the military to ensure the pizzas were delivered fresh and ready to eat at the various military bases.  

Ricker Oil Co.

Ricker’s convenience stores across central Indiana raised $30,000 for Salvation Army programs and services during Christmastime. By collecting donations through counter kettles, Ricker’s was able to make this contribution to Indiana’s division of The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign and helped them surpass their Christmas 2014 fundraising goal of $3.3 million.

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