LUBBOCK, Texas — Local leaders here and in some of the other 23 communities in which United Supermarkets does business praised the company for its years of community support and its new UCrew volunteer program. Here is what some had to say.
Jo Tyler Bagwell, marketing director, Amarillo Globe News
United has been partnering with us for two years on this program. What they do for the community is fantastic. They give to make the community a better place.
David Weaver, executive director, South Plains Food Bank, Lubbock
United has always been a great friend of the food bank. Ucrew sends volunteers to sort food and help us run our drives. Last year, between 25 to 30 UCrew members worked from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. It's unusual to have that many from a business come out and volunteer. It's a six-day drive, and we had 10 or 15 UCrew people a day. United also donates food and funds. Through our "You Can Share" program, for every $10,000 United customers donate, the company will match an additional $10,000. They support us with food donations from their produce departments and warehouse. We are running a back-to-school drive for supplies to start the school year. United gave us a $2,000 gift to get that started. In turn, we went back to United and bought our supplies there.
We serve a 25-county area of West Texas, and provide food for about 100,000 individual meals per month through our soup kitchens. We probably serve about 10,000 families a month, and work with about 256 churches and social service agencies in the South Plains region of Texas to distribute food to people in communities that need help.
While we get great support from other supermarkets in the area, United is outstanding in their outlook on community service and their willingness to go the extra mile to help with their UCrew volunteers or their food donations. In other areas where they have grocery stores like in Amarillo or Wichita Falls, they've been big supporters of food banks. So we all benefited from their corporate philosophy of charity. They are really good community partners.
Marc McDougal, mayor of Lubbock
It's endless what they do for this community. The prevailing attitude is that when you are successful, then you give back to the communities that made you successful. That has added to United Supermarkets' success.
Gary Lawrence, CEO, Market Lubbock
Shoppers in markets where United does business do realize they give more than they take. United has outstanding service and quality. They have extensive training for new employees. You walk their stores, and even if it's a little sack, they insist they carry it out to your car for you. In the aisles, they are very helpful. They are a great corporate citizen, and give outstanding service when you walk in their stores.
Jane Piercy, executive director, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Lubbock
CASA recruits, trains and supervises volunteers who are appointed by the court to serve children who are in the court because they were removed from their homes due to child abuse and neglect. Ucrew has helped us with three special events. It is so hard to put into words what a huge difference United makes because they are such an incredibly in-depth, customer service-oriented company.
It's not like United sits there and says, "Well, we do UCrew and we're not going to participate in anything else." They contributed $1,000 to our recent event. In their grocery stores right now, every time you check out, they ask if you want to add a dollar on your charge to MDA. It's involvement like that all the time. It's on every level that they are doing something. If they are more expensive on any item in town, it doesn't bother me a bit to pay for it because all of us in the nonprofit community feel the same way. They give back so much to the community that it makes me feel good to go to their grocery store and spend money there.
Jettonne Buxkemeer, community involvement director, Habitat for Humanity, Lubbock
UCrew are great volunteers and work great as a team. They came together and really got a lot accomplished. Habitat gives the volunteers a great opportunity because they are doing problem solving. There is a lot of teamwork that goes into our building projects. People that don't know each other can work together and build a relationship.