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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:
7-Eleven is joining the Feeding America network of food banks in a pay-it-forward campaign to buy bananas for food-insecure individuals and families in the United States. The campaign runs from Nov. 6 through Dec. 2.
To participate, 7-Eleven customers can purchase two Del Monte bananas for $1, which will be donated to Feeding America and distributed through its network of local food banks to families in need. For every two bananas donated by a customer, 7-Eleven will contribute an additional dime to the Feeding America network, up to $100,000 in total.
The retailer hopes to donate at least 2 million bananas. 7-Eleven is promoting its "banana benevolence" campaign on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Cumberland Farms Inc.
Cumberland Farms awarded 130 high-school seniors in 11 states with its 2014 Believe and Achieve scholarships to help them attend college this fall. The convenience store chain is now accepting applications for the 2015 scholarship program.
As part of the company’s commitment to nurturing the future of young people, the program provides $1,000 scholarships to eligible graduating high-school seniors across its service area. In 2014, Cumberland Farms awarded scholarships to 28 students in Massachusetts, 14 in Florida, 19 in New York, 10 in New Hampshire, 24 in New Jersey, eight in Connecticut, six in Maine, seven each in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, six in Vermont and one in Maryland.
The 2015 program is open to students entering a full-time undergraduate course of study at an accredited college, university or vocational-technical school in the fall of 2015 who live within 30 miles of a Cumberland Farms location. Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, as well as the student’s financial need.
In honor of National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Month, Jiffy Mart and the Greene Turtle sports bar and grille partnered with the Shepherd’s Staff and Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams for a canned food drive.
The event was held Monday, Nov. 10 at the Greene Turtle in Westminster, Md. Williams signed autographs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
Customers at Love’s more than 330 stores in 39 states donated $1.86 million during the company’s annual five-week drive to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. Over the past 16 years, Love’s has contributed more than $12 million to the organization.
During the campaign, which ended Sept. 30, Love’s team member sold CMN Hospitals’ Miracle Balloons for donations and organized grassroots fundraising events for their communities like golf tournaments, bake sales, cookouts and music concerts. Some managers even shaved their heads, arranged mascot Olympics and sat in dunk tanks to raise money.
Additional donations came in through events held at Love’s corporate office in Oklahoma City, including a CMN Hospitals’ Miracle Marathon and a partner golf tournament, which raised more than $250,000.
Musket Corp., a trading and distribution firm included in the Love’s Family of Cos., raised nearly $240,000 for CMN Hospitals at an event earlier this year, bringing Love’s total 2014 projected contribution to $2.5 million.
TBHC Delivers, a Nashville, Tenn.-based distributor of Hunt Brothers Pizza, launched a new charitable initiative called Provide that will directly impact people in need in hundreds of communities across the company’s 14-state reach.
Provide pairs TBHC Delivers’ convenience store partners with local charitable organizations, creating new opportunities for the stores to help people in their own communities with basic life necessities: a warm coat, food on the table or school supplies for children.
The initiative launched in Nashville with a graduation ceremony at Sophia’s Heart, a homeless shelter that provides its residents with basic life skills to become productive members of society. TBHC Delivers and its employees provided home necessities to each graduating family.
Also this summer, a time when meals aren’t provided at school, TBHC Delivers and its c-store partners created a food drive to help children and families in their communities.
Provide intends to create additional opportunities all year long for TBHC Delivers’ partners and employees to give back to those around them.
The Hershey Co.
Hershey announced a new palm oil sourcing policy that updates and strengthens its commitment to source 100-percent traceable and responsible palm oil. The policy details the requirements to which all suppliers in the company’s palm oil supply chain will be held accountable.
In addition to provisions that protect against deforestation, preserve native species’ habitats and protect the environment, the new sourcing policy also provides details on labor and human rights protections and the inclusion of smallholder palm farmers in the supply chain.
Hershey also has become a member of The Forest Trust, which will bring an important perspective and expertise to review and evaluate the company’s palm oil supply chain and help Hershey make adjustments to achieve its progressive objectives.
In a separate initiative, Hershey announced a new three-year program expanding its cocoa farmer training and community initiatives in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa-producing country. In partnership with Cargill, Hershey Learn to Grow Ivory Coast will encompass seven farmer cooperatives and include investments in educational infrastructure and teacher housing.
Through the program, 10,000 cocoa farmers will be trained in agricultural and social practices. By doing so, these farmers will benefit by receiving higher premium payments for their cocoa. The farmers will also realize long-term improvements to their cocoa harvests by improving aging farms through good agricultural practices.