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Convenience Chains Continue Relief Support

As rescue and relief efforts continue in New York and Washington following last week's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon building, convenience store chains stepped to the plate with donations of food and beverages.

The industry, which has been criticized in the past for a variety of reasons ranging from security to customer service, has stood tall through the attacks by quickly coming to the aid of victims' families and rescue workers.

Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc. is responding to a call for assistance from the Salvation Army at the nation's capital. Ameristop Food Marts Inc. a Cold Spring Ky.-based operator of 140 convenience stores, has pledged to donate 60,000 bottles of water to the New York rescue workers.

Sheetz, operator of 268 convenience stores in five states, delivered a freight load of water, Gatorade, juice, snacks and cookies to relief workers. The deliveries were made from the company's new distribution center located in Sproul, Pa., which is not scheduled to officially begin operations until next week.

"We are extremely happy to be able to assist in our country's relief efforts," said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing. "We have a wonderful working relationship with the Salvation Army in every one of our operating areas. It was a local unit who placed us in touch with the D.C. unit's request for assistance."

The company said it will remain on call to provide further assistance if it's needed. "This will be a memorable first delivery for our new distribution center and employees, as well as our entire company," Sheetz said. "I know every American is seeking ways to assist our nation."

Ameristop said it's asking customers to drop off cards and letters of encouragement to the rescue workers at any of its 140 Ameristop convenience stores. The cards will be sent with each water shipment, which is scheduled to go out later this week.
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