ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) conducted toy and food collection drives to help two local community groups: Volunteer Alexandria’s Community Toy Drive (Virginia) and DC Central Kitchen.
NACS staff purchased 120 toys for the Alexandria Community Toy Drive, which will be distributed to children in Alexandria who are below the poverty lines. Families have applied for assistance and have been vetted, meaning that each child who receives a toy through the drive wouldn’t be receiving anything this year if not for these donations. The NACS donations mean that 60 children in the area will receive at least two presents on Christmas Day.
“It is truly amazing to see our community together to help those in need, and NACS is a wonderful example of it. Their contribution was a significant factor in helping us to continue to aid local families and children, and we couldn’t have done it without their support,” said Executive Director of Volunteer Alexandria Marion Brunken.
NACS staff also donated more than 300 pounds of dry beans to DC Central Kitchen (DCCK). Every day DCCK volunteers transform 3,000 pounds of food into 5,000 healthy meals for the community. The group also has a Healthy Corners initiative to provide healthy food access in Washington, DC’s neighborhoods. It distributes fresh produce and healthy snacks to corner stores in DC’s low-income communities, offering produce to corner stores at wholesale prices and in smaller quantities than a conventional distributor. In 2015, DCCK worked with 67 corner stores to help them sell 184,878 units of healthy snacks.
The NACS donations mirror what convenience stores contribute to communities across the country. Convenience stores contributed or collected nearly $990 million to charities over the past year, according to a national survey of retailers released by NACS in October 2016.
Overall, 64% of convenience retailers responding to the survey said they support five or more charities in their communities. And 83% said they’ve have been engaged in community giving for more than a decade.
Nearly nine in 10 (88%) donate to local charities such as church groups, shelters, health-related organizations and other non-sports groups. More than three in four (76%) contribute to youth sports and activities and more than two-thirds (69%) contribute to local schools via the PTAs and other fundraising activities. The median charitable contribution per store was $4,100 in direct contributions and $2,500 in donations collected.