More C-store Industry Players Aid in Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts
NATIONAL REPORT — Hurricane Harvey may have made landfall four days ago, but it will take time for the southeastern region of Texas and areas of Louisiana to recover. Several companies are pitching in to help with those efforts, including many convenience channel players with ties to the area.
Exxon Mobil Corp.
Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. is allocating $500,000 for contributions to regional Red Cross organizations along the U.S. Gulf Coast to assist with relief efforts in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. It is also making a $500,000 contribution to the United Way of Greater Houston.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents of Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast communities currently in the path of Hurricane Harvey," said Darren W. Woods, ExxonMobil chairman and CEO. "We are monitoring the storm and working with the Red Cross to determine where best we can direct these resources to assist with preparation and relief efforts in the Gulf region. We hope our contributions will help provide comfort to our friends and neighbors in areas impacted by the storm."
ExxonMobil has also made provisions to ensure that emergency responders and other essential service providers requesting fuel are given priority.
Harvey came ashore as a Category 4 storm on Friday, Aug. 25. It weakened to a tropical storm over the weekend.
The oil giant also said that its "primary focus continues to be the safety of our employees, contractors and the communities in the affected areas. We are communicating with our employees and their families to ensure they remain safe."
Extreme weather and flooding caused by Harvey led to operational issues at ExxonMobil's Texas facilities. Its Baytown complex completed the safe shutdown of the majority of its operations, while its Beaumont refinery has reduced rates.
ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge facilities are operating as normal, the company said.
For its part, Anheuser-Busch is delivering three truckloads — containing more than 155,000 cans — of emergency drinking water to help communities in the Gulf Coast area.
An initial truckload was sent from Anheuser-Busch's Cartersville brewery in Georgia and delivered to the American Red Cross in Baton Rouge, La., on Aug. 28 with the help of Mockler Beverage, one of Anheuser-Busch's wholesaler partners.
Two additional truckloads are being sent to an American Red Cross facility in Arlington, Texas, scheduled to arrive in the coming days, according to the St. Louis-based company.
According to Anheuser-Busch, the Cartersville brewery halts production periodically throughout the year to prepare canned drinking water to be ready to help American communities in times of need.
"Putting our production and logistics strengths to work by providing safe, clean drinking water is the best way we can help in these situations," said Bill Bradley, Anheuser-Busch's vice president for Community Affairs.
Anheuser-Busch has three facilities in Houston: one large brewery, its craft partner Karbach, and the Longhorn glass bottle facility. The three facilities together have approximately 1,100 employees and all are safe, the company reported.
As employee safety is the foremost and primary concern, Anheuser-Busch will continue to monitor the rain and evaluate next steps as the weather evolves, it added.
"The safety of our colleagues is paramount and we are proud of the work our Houston team has done over the weekend to keep our team safe in these difficult and exceptional circumstances," Bradley said.
Chevron Corp. is making a $1-million contribution to the American Red Cross for the immediate relief efforts under way to assist victims of the largest storm to make landfall in the United States in a decade.
"Our thoughts are with all the people who have suffered tremendous losses and disruption from this catastrophic hurricane and related flooding," said Jeff Shellebarger, president, Chevron North America Exploration and Production Co. "As a business with deep ties to Texas and Houston, this donation will assist with the initial critical relief process. We will continue to work with responding organizations to support ongoing recovery efforts, which we hope can begin soon."
The donation will support relief efforts throughout the affected regions, including both Corpus Christi and the greater Houston metropolitan area in Texas.
In addition, the company will match donations made to the relief efforts by its employees and retirees, many of whom have seen the tragedy unfold first-hand. One of Chevron's top priorities is protecting its employees, families and communities when they may need assistance in times of emergency, the San Ramon, Calif.-based company said.
Houston represents the single-largest concentration of Chevron employees globally, and the company has important business interests throughout Texas, including the Permian Basin and Corpus Christi. A number of Chevron's businesses are headquartered in Houston, including its exploration and production companies for North America, Africa and Latin America; its technology companies; pipeline, power and global procurement businesses; and the supply and trading function.
In addition, many of Chevron's major capital projects are planned and developed from Houston.
The Kroger Co. Foundation
Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. Foundation is committing $100,000 for the Houston Food Bank, America's largest food bank serving 600 hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties, to supply operational support and meals to families affected by the floods.
According to the foundation, for every social share of the #KrogerCares post, the foundation will donate $5 to the Food Bank, up to $100,000. Additionally, Kroger is inviting customers to join giving efforts by donating through in-store programs.
"We are quickly mobilizing our resources — food, dollars, vendors, community partners, customers and associates — to do our part to help the greater Houston community and its residents during this devastating and unprecedented storm," said Jessica Adelman, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs. "We know that meals matter, and it's imperative that we help feed and support Texans during this trying time."
In addition, customers can visit select Kroger Family of Stores across the U.S. to make a cash donation that will benefit the American Red Cross. Kroger is also inviting its 443,000 associates to join the cause as well as support fellow associates in the Houston area affected by the storm through Helping Hands, an internal fundraising effort.
Along with monetary giving, Kroger will continue to aid rescue organizations, shelters and first responders with food, water and toiletries. The mobile Kroger Pharmacy is also traveling to the Houston region to help refill customers' prescriptions, provide immunizations, and perform blood pressure and glucose screenings.
"This storm has ravaged our city, but I know the heart and resilience of Houstonians: we can and will overcome this," said Marlene Stewart, Kroger's president of the Houston division. "Kroger is working tirelessly to help support recovery, rescue and relief efforts. We will be here every step of the way."
CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation is also lending support of $200,000 in cash and in-kind product donations to organizations helping with relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Following widespread damage to communities across the coast of Texas, federal officials are anticipating the storm will drive 30,000 people into shelters and spur 450,000 victims to seek some sort of disaster assistance. In response, the CVS Health Foundation has donated $50,000 each to the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the American Red Cross, as well as $25,000 to Salvation Army, to aid the greater Houston area in supporting local residents as they begin the recovery and rebuilding process, according to the Woonsocket, R.I.-based company.
The CVS Health Foundation will additionally match donations by CVS Health employees, up to $25,000.
As of Monday, CVS Pharmacy was continuing to identify how Harvey affected more than 200 locations in the greater Houston region. The company's mobile pharmacies will be moved into the area once it is safe. Customers will be able to pick up their prescriptions, purchase over-the-counter medications and receive recommended vaccines.
"We want to offer any assistance we can to our customers, colleagues and communities affected by this disaster," said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS Health, and president of the CVS Health Foundation.
"Both CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation are committed to ensuring that residents hit hard by this disaster have continued access to critical pharmacy care and the non-profit partners, first responders, and government agencies leading the relief efforts on the ground have the critical supplies and financial support they need to help those most in need," she said.
In addition, CVS Health will also donate $25,000 worth of in-kind products including personal hygiene, clean-up and over-the-counter items. The CVS Health Employee Relief Fund is prepared to provide support to colleagues who have been affected by the disaster.