Food retailers are on the front lines of helping people in need
Food retailers, wholesalers and their suppliers are always ready for action when disaster strikes.
In the Related Articles, SN takes a closer look at four individuals who have stepped up in the face of urgent need and helped their companies provide relief from catastrophes both local, as when a brush fire closed in on a small Australian community, and massive, as when the earthquake struck in Haiti in January.
Each of the four profiles on the following pages examines a different aspect of the way food retailers and wholesalers provide disaster relief.
At Publix Super Markets in Lakeland, Fla., the company was able to leverage its fund-raising experience — honed through many years of suffering through hurricanes and its support for a broad range of community organizations — to quickly implement a checkout fund-raiser that raised more than $4.4 million for Haiti earthquake relief in just a few weeks, led by Maria Brous, director of media and community relations.
C&S Wholesale Grocers, meanwhile, under the direction of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Cohen, responded to the Haiti disaster with material donations of food, water and medical supplies, and it also deployed its corporate jet to deliver supplies and evacuate stranded medical volunteers.
At Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge, La., Randy Fletcher, vice president, logistics and supply chain management, learned that it pays to have a detailed plan in place to keep stores stocked in the event of a hurricane or other disaster.
Exemplifying the concept that the best response is a local one, Fred Harrison, CEO of Ritchies IGA in Australia, was deputized to help protect the people of Yarri Glen during last year's brushfires there. By the end of the day, he was providing food and shelter for 800 community residents inside his 27,000-square-foot store.