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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:
Aloha Petroleum Ltd.
Aloha Petroleum donated $6,347.19 to Aloha Harvest, a nonprofit that provides donates food and delivers it free of charge to social service agencies feeding the hungry in Hawaii. Funds were collected on behalf of customers through Aloha Petroleum’s canister collection program at statewide participating Aloha Island Mart stores.
“Aloha Harvest is a truly unique organization that rescues excess food and delivers it to those who need it most,” said Gary Altman, general manager of company-operated stores for Aloha Petroleum. “We’re so proud to be able to support their efforts and we thank our customers for their continued generosity in providing for the community’s needs through their donations.”
GPM Investments LLC
Richmond, Va.-based GPM Investments made a $12,443-donation to Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia. The donation was made possible through a two-week campaign of collection customer donations during checkout at 150 Fas Mart, Shore Stop and Scotchman stores throughout Virginia.
“GPM Investments was very excited to partner with Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia and to raise funds to help make wishes come true,” said Chris Giacobone, chief operating officer at GPM Investments. “We are thrilled that so many customers took part in this campaign, and we are grateful to play a role in bringing smiles to wish children and their families.”
Kwik Trip Inc.
During Kwik Trip’s 2016 coin canister campaign, the convenience store retailer raised $65,000 in support of the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) mission to help solve the nation’s childhood obesity crisis. Throughout the month of June, all 491 Kwik Trip locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa placed canisters at every checkout lane to encourage donations.
Since teaming with the PHA in 2014, Kwik Trip has raised $180,000 through the canister campaign. The company has also made a number of advancements to make healthier choices more convenient and accessible for their guests through their EatSmart program, as well as becoming the first convenience store to offer a PHA-approved combo meal. By 2017, Kwik Trip will offer an expanded array of healthier options, including healthier packaged foods like nuts and granola bars throughout the store, and will increase healthier options in the checkout area, according to the c-store retailer.
Swiss Farms Stores
Swiss Farms — through a newly formed partnership with PathWays PA, an organization dedicated to helping vulnerable women, teens and children — will donate excess fresh food product to the foundation by providing approximately 250-300 meals weekly to those in need. The meals offer nourishment for those living at PathWays PA residences, in addition to teaching families how to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle, according to the company.
“As we continue to offer more wholesome, prepared fresh food and respond to the evolving needs of our customers, we asked ‘How else can we have a positive impact on the community that has embraced Swiss Farms for almost 50 years?’ and donating excess food to PathWays PA seemed like an extension of serving our customers and community,” explained Scott Simon, CEO of Swiss Farms.
TravelCenters of America LLC
TravelCenters of America — operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands — launched its annual campaign Aug. 1 to support the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF), a nonprofit that seeks to help truck drivers suffering from financial hardship due to medical problems. The month-long campaign will run through Aug. 31.
During the campaign, employees and guests who make a $1-donation will receive a commemorative wristband, and those making a $5-donation will receive and SCF keychain. One-hundred percent of all donations will go directly to SCF. TravelCenters of America has been supporting drivers through the SCF since 2010. The annual campaign contribution marks the largest single donation SCF receives each year.