Supermarket companies were busy last week assisting disaster-relief agencies in providing aid to the victims of Hurricane Floyd and the floods that followed in the storm's wake.
A spokesman for the American Red Cross, Washington, called the store chains' help "invaluable," as food retailers provided truckloads of water and ice and collected donations of food and money.
While Floyd's wrath was felt along much of the East Coast, from South Carolina to New Jersey, the most severe damage and most intense relief efforts were focused on North Carolina, which in the week after the storm reportedly experienced the worst flooding in the state's history.
Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C., said it has distributed truckloads of bottled water to flood victims in Greenville. The company also said it donated truckloads of water, ice, baby food, diapers, hygiene products and cleaning supplies to an American Red Cross warehouse in Pitt County. Food Lion also distributed shipments of Powerade, ice and snacks to about 9,000 Carolina Power & Light workers. In addition, all Food Lion stores are collecting cash donations in specially marked canisters at the checkout. And some Food Lions in the Carolinas are accepting donations of food and cleaning supplies for local nonprofit organizations.
Harris Teeter, Charlotte, N.C., said it gave away more than 75,000 gallons of water and 80,000 bags of ice -- items with a retail value of $140,000 -- to flood victims in North Carolina and Virginia. The company is also collecting donations of food, diapers, cleaning materials and other nonperishables at all stores in North Carolina. Harris Teeter will deliver the donated items to Second Harvest Food Banks,which will distribute the items to those most in need.
Bi-Lo, Maudlin, S.C., a division of Ahold USA, Atlanta, said its customers will be able to make tax-deductible contributions through Oct. 9 using an American Red Cross Disaster Relief scan card. The cards will be available at all Bi-Lo cash registers, and the company will match customer donations up to $5,000.
Winn-Dixie Stores, Jacksonville, Fla., said its Raleigh, N.C., division has donated 50 truckloads of water to flood victims, and the division's stores are serving as collection points for monetary contributions by customers.
Acme Markets, Malvern, Pa., a division of Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, said it has begun a fund-raising effort to assist storm victims in the Mid-Atlantic region. Acme added it will match customer and employee donations up to $5,000 and said all monies collected will go to provide food certificates, which will be donated to the local chapters of such agencies as the American Red Cross and Salvation Army.