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JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- As the Northeast tries to get back on its feet after last week's Superstorm Sandy -- particularly the hard hit states of New York and New Jersey -- the convenience store industry is pitching in to help.
Pennsylvania-based Wawa Inc., which has a large presence of stores in New Jersey, is partnering with the American Red Cross on a chainwide, in-store crisis campaign to provide disaster relief assistance to those communities most affected by the storm. The effort allows customers to contribute to disaster relief by adding $1, $3 or $5 to their Wawa purchase at checkout.
"Wawa has always had a strong commitment to providing crisis response and assisting those in need, and we've been partnering with the American Red Cross in these kinds of efforts for decades," said Howard Stoeckel, Wawa's CEO. "We have a long history of supporting the Red Cross that includes providing aid for Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, Rita and the Midwestern Floods, the Asian Tsunamis, September 11 and the Haitian relief effort. We are committed to doing everything we can to assist in this recent disaster."
In addition to funds raised through the in-store campaign, Wawa will make a $100,000 Red Cross donation. The campaign runs through Nov. 11 in Wawa's 602 stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.
The BP Foundation also donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The $500,000 donation, which is in addition to donations made by the BP Foundation Employee Matching Program, will assist Red Cross efforts to provide meals, shelter, clothing, water and medical care.
On the supplier side, Anheuser-Busch is stepping in with 44,000 cases of emergency drinking water -- or 1,056,000 cans -- this week for residents impacted by Sandy and other natural disasters. Cans of water were sent to Anheuser-Busch distributors Harrison Beverage in Pleasantville, N.J., and Ritchie & Page Distributing in Robbinsville, N.J., and more than 10,000 cases were sent Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, N.Y. over the weekend.
"Relief workers and people in the region are in need of safe, clean drinking water, and Anheuser-Busch is in a unique position to produce and ship large quantities of emergency drinking water," said Peter Kraemer, vice president of supply for Anheuser-Busch. "Our local distributors help identify those communities most in need, and work with relief organizations such as the American Red Cross to make sure the water gets where it's needed."
The Anheuser-Busch Foundation also donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross to assist in on-the-ground support for disaster relief workers and victims of Superstorm Sandy.
Pernod Ricard USA, a premium spirits and wine company, is contributing to the American Red Cross as well with a $100,000 donation. The company is also organizing an employee fundraising drive to raise money and in-kind donations.
Residents and towns without electricity have received help, too, from the VP Racing Fuels regional distribution center in Newark, Del., which shipped VP Small Engine Fuel to customers throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic region -- including fire departments and municipalities -- to help ensure their gas-powered work can continue uninterrupted.