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North Charleston, S.C. -- One of the largest independently operated convenience store chains in the country is warning teens to think twice before attempting to purchase alcohol beverages in its stores.
At a press conference yesterday at a Kangaroo Express here, The Pantry, Inc.—operating as Kangaroo Express and Petro Express—Anheuser-Busch and its local distributors announced a new campaign to help fight underage drinking and prevent sales to minors in The Pantry’s 1,650 locations in the 11 states in which it operates. The program, titled "We I.D.," builds upon current efforts by The Pantry to restrict underage alcohol sales. This enhanced employee training increases employee ability to spot fake I.D.s and includes various point-of-sale reminders throughout stores.
"Our customers and the community come first at The Pantry," said Brad Williams, The Pantry’s senior vice president of field operations. "By working together with Anheuser-Busch and its local distributors to further train our employees and provide them with I.D.-checking materials, we help protect teens and make the community safer."
We I.D. is Anheuser-Busch’s comprehensive underage-drinking prevention program used by retailers to remind customers who purchase alcohol beverages that they will be asked to show valid identification. Program elements include: We I.D. posters and signage on coolers, driver’s license guides to help employees verify I.D.s, and clocks that also show the date of legal age required to purchase alcohol beverages. A key component of the program is the enhanced training The Pantry employees receive via instructional videos and on-site reference materials concerning checking and verifying valid I.D.s.
"We’re proud to support The Pantry with its ongoing commitment to abide by the law and help keep our communities safe," added Carol Clark, Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of corporate social responsibility. "This We I.D. effort complements and reinforces the progress that’s been made in preventing underage drinking among our nation’s youth."
According to the federal government’s most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 84 percent of adolescents, ages 12 to 17, are doing the right thing by not drinking. In addition, according to the federally funded University of Michigan Monitoring the Future study, in the past-month drinking among high-school seniors is at its lowest level since tracking began in 1975.
Anheuser-Busch distributors in 11 states are supporting the We I.D. program with The Pantry.