ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The convenience retailing industry gives back year-round, but in times of crisis the industry is ratcheting up community support by donating to food banks and charities and thanking first responders. NACS Daily is sharing their stories each day as a bright spot amid challenging times.
Love’s Travel Stops has donated $100,000 to the United Way of Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 response fund. “During these unprecedented times, we want our youth to know they aren’t alone,” Love’s tweeted. “We’re proud to be part of the OKC community and countless communities across the country.”
Also in Oklahoma, OnCue is donating more than $30,000 of non-perishable food and personal care products to several local food banks, pantries and soup kitchens in response to increased community needs surrounding COVID-19. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma accepted 2,800 pounds of grocery products this week from OnCue.
Our Daily Bread, a food resource center in OnCue’s hometown of Stillwater, Oklahoma, received more than $5,500 in product, as well as a merchandising refrigerator, which now provides increased food availability for guests on the shopping floor.
“One of OnCue's core values is being a good neighbor in the communities where we live and work,” said Scott Minton, director of business development, OnCue. “It was extremely gratifying to visit every OnCue, collecting items to help feed our neighbors, especially during a time when many families may be looking for additional help due to community health concerns.”
Other retailers are offering free beverages to show their appreciation for healthcare workers and emergency responders who are on the front lines of the pandemic.
“To all our Healthcare Heroes during this challenging season, we want to show our appreciation to the brave men and women who are tirelessly fighting for the health of our community,” Loop Neighborhood Markets President Varish Goyal said in a tweet. The Fremont, California, retailer invites healthcare workers to enjoy a free cup of coffee anytime of the day.
Participating Circle K stores are offering all first responders and health-care workers with valid IDs a free coffee or tea to recognize their “incredible work.” Couche-Tard also is celebrating front-line responders and medical staff with free hot beverages. United Kingdom-based Applegreen tweeted that it is offering free hot beverages to all health-care workers and emergency services responders until March 29 “in appreciation for all of their hard work.”
Also in the U.K., BP stations will be providing free fuel for emergency services members—"the women and men who we are all depending on to protect us during this time,” CEO Bernard Looney shared in a LinkedIn post. Many BP stores also are providing free delivery of food and convenience goods for elderly customers. “And—of course—we will continue to ensure supplies of fuel and energy are uninterrupted,” Looney said.
Connecticut-based grocer Stew Leonard’s says it will open an hour early each day to allow seniors and those with vulnerable health issues to shop in a less crowded environment in its stores in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. “Under 60 or in good health, please wait until regular opening times to shop,” the retailer said in a tweet.
And goPuff announced a $1 million commitment in digital credits to hospital employees working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis for use on delivery of goPuff’s wide range of essentials, including cleaning supplies, home needs, over-the-counter medications, food and drinks. Employees at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago will be among the first to receive free orders. Credits valued at $25 each (with the standard $1.95 delivery fee waived), will be available to employees of hospital partners across the country. Hospital workers looking to have their hospital or health-care center added to goPuff’s Health Care Support Initiative can reach out to email@example.com.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.