ALEXANDRIA, Va.—As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, convenience stores continue to be open and supporting those on the front lines and those in need. And when it comes to doing good deeds, onlookers have to admit, c-stores do it right.
In less than two weeks, the Wawa Foundation has contributed a total of $86,000 in emergency funds for the hunger relief efforts of nonprofits from Pennsylvania to Florida, according to a company news release.
From that amount, the Maryland Food Bank received $10,000 to help maintain daily operations during this uncertain time, and the Federation for Virginia Food Banks received $10,000 to assist seven Virginia food banks to meet increased needs of clients over the next 60-90 days.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida received $2,500 to support drive-thru distribution of prepacked, shelf-stable food kits in a five-county area, and $2,500 went to Capital Area Food Bank for “pop-up pantries” for families in need. Several local food agencies received $1,000 each: Chapters Health Foundation, Angels Community Outreach and Eglise Evangelique De La Renaissance.
Since the fund was established on Friday, March 20, and the first funds totaling $30,000 were distributed to Philadbundance, Food Bank of Delaware and Feeding South Florida, followed by a combined total of $28,500 on Tuesday, March 24 to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, the Food Bank of South Jersey, the Food Bank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties and the Mercer Street Friends Center.
The Wawa Foundation has earmarked additional funds for more food banks or qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that serve their local communities.
Meanwhile, Tiger Fuel Company based in Charlottesville, Virginia, has donated $2,000 to the local Restaurant Community Fund to help restaurant workers in need, the company announced.
“My brother and I were born and raised in Charlottesville, and many of these local restaurants feel like home,” said Gordon Sutton, company president. “We’d like to lend a helping hand to the local restaurant community during this challenging time and donate a portion of our sales to those who are so hospitable to us all year round.”
Plus, Tiger Fuels is extending discounts to those who are on the front lines of helping combat the coronavirus pandemic. First responders and healthcare workers who are dressed in uniform or present a valid I.D. will receive a complimentary coffee or fountain drink at all nine Markets, the company’s gourmet-to-go convenience stores. With every sandwich purchased, first responders can receive a free signature sandwich of their choice.
“We depend on these first responders, and this is something we can do to show how much we appreciate what they do to support our community,” said Maurice Lamarche, retail director.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores is giving first responders and medical professionals a free drink a day through the month of May, the chain reports on its website.
Customers wearing a first responder uniform or medical scrubs or who present their work identification card will receive a free medium fountain drink or coffee as a “thank you” for their hard work and dedication during the COVID-19 crisis. This offer is available at all 516 Love's locations across the country.
"At Love's, we know that professional truck drivers are the heroes of the highway and are crucial, especially during this time, so we've worked hard to make sure we can continue to keep our locations open for them," said Shane Wharton, president, Love's. "But during this time, we also want to say 'thank you' to our first responders and medical professionals who are on the front lines of this pandemic. This is just one small way we can do that."
The High’s chain of Baltimore, Maryland, has announced the extension of the chain’s free coffee for first responders’ program to include front-line hospital staff. All first responders, doctors and nurses in uniform (or who provide badge identification) will receive a free coffee or fountain drink during their visit. High’s has 49 convenience stores and a team of 500-plus employees.
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.