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Ahold Donates $2.5M to Red Cross After Sandy

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Stop & Shop and Ahold said that, together with their Our Family Foundation, they were making donations totaling $2.5 million to the American Red Cross for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy — one of the largest donations among several made by the industry in recent days.

“Stop & Shop is pledging support to our customers, neighbors and associates who have been so drastically impacted in our area by Hurricane Sandy,” said Don Sussman, president of the Stop & Shop New York Metro Division here. “It is our hope that our effort helps ease the pain and speed the recovery of those who have lost so much, and we hope that others will be encouraged to assist in the relief effort and rebuilding process in any way they can.”

In addition, Stop & Shop stores in New York and New Jersey will serve as drop-off points for canned and packaged food. Stop & Shop and the other supermarket companies of Ahold USA have also partnered with the American Red Cross to establish microsites to provide a way for employees, customers and vendors to designate a donation to local Red Cross disaster relief efforts in their communities. All Stop & Shop stores are also collecting cash donations at check-out counters to assist regional food banks and pantries.

Read more: Whole Foods Still Feeling Sandy's Impact

Stop & Shop and Ahold USA also announced a $500,000 donation to the Stop & Shop/Giant Helping Hands fund, which provides funds to the companies’ employees in times of need. This donation will be used to help workers whose lives have been disrupted by Hurricane Sandy.

Separately, an Ahold spokeswoman told SN that the company’s Point Pleasant, N.J., Stop & Shop is expected to reopen on Friday, and the Oceanside, N.Y., Stop & Shop will open this weekend. All other stores are now open, after “less than 20” were closed temporarily after the storm, the spokeswoman said.

Other area retailers and suppliers have also made donations and taken up collections in the wake of the storm, including Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp., which said it will donate up to $1 million in both funds and in-kind donations to assist in relief efforts. The company’s support will focus on regional food banks in the areas its stores serve throughout the Northeast that are providing meals and other assistance to those who have been displaced from their homes.

Photo gallery: Mixed Bag: Sandy in Supermarkets

“The areas hardest hit by the storm are at the center of where our stores are located and our associates live,” said Joseph Colalillo, chairman and chief executive officer of Wakefern Food Corp. “Many of those devastated by Sandy are our friends and neighbors. Reaching out and providing meals and other supplies remains our primary focus and effort in the days following the storm.”

In the hours following the storm, Wakefern said individual stores began addressing the needs of their communities, donating food, water and ice to local charities and government agencies. As relief efforts progressed, truckloads of food, water and prepared meals have been dispatched from Wakefern’s warehouses to regional food banks that are on the front line of relief efforts.

“In difficult times like these, we often find that the greatest need emerges in the weeks and months following a devastating event,” said Joe Sheridan, president and chief operating officer, Wakefern. “As our communities begin to recover from the impact of this storm, we will work to ensure that our support reaches our neighbors who have been most severely impacted.”

Read more: Industry Staggers Back From Battle With Storm

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores said it was donating up to $1.5 million to its disaster-relief partners — American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Feeding America — to help with relief efforts in the hardest-hit areas. It also said it has been working with Red Cross to help support disaster shelter operations by donating essential items (water, food, snack items, personal care products, diapers, blankets) to serve those displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

Wal-Mart also said it has been facilitating requests from government officials in the impacted areas, using its logistics operations to help transport generators to schools and hospitals, for example, and delivering about a million bottles of water throughout the Northeast.

Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers said it had launched a multifaceted relief effort, working in partnership with Feeding America, which is part of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

Within days of the storm, C&S donated three truckloads of bottled water, soup, peanut butter, granola and power bars, chili, beef stew, diapers, and cleaning products to affected areas. In addition, C&S said it has donated 600 pounds of medical and health supplies, including children’s acetaminophen, ibuprofen, neomycin/bacitracin, hydrocortisone cream, hydrogen peroxide, bandages and wraps to New Jersey charities. It also said it made an unspecified financial donation to the Red Cross.

Other industry relief efforts include:

• Constellation Brands, Canandaigua, N.Y., said it would match its employees’ donations, up to $100,000, to the Red Cross in support of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Constellation is also encouraging its employees across the nation to participate in local blood drives to help ease the shortage of donated blood in the impacted areas.

• Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, donated $100,000 to the Red Cross, in addition to sending thousands of cases of canned water to affected areas.

• Convenience-store chain Wawa Inc., based in Wawa, Pa., also donated $100,000 to the Red Cross, and said it was collecting from customers donations at all of its 602 stores. About a third of Wawa’s locations were closed temporarily during the storm.

• Other retailers collecting donations from customers at checkout include: Cincinnati-based Kroger Co.; Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets; and Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y.

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