Close of C&S Subsidiary to Have 'Devastating' Impact on Local Food Bank

HALETHORPE, Md. -- The impending close of distributor Ocean Logistics here, a subsidiary of Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers, on April 28, is poised to be a major blow to needy people in the area. According to the Maryland Food Bank, its neighbor Ocean Logistics donated more than 1 million pounds of food to it annually. "This is devastating," noted the food banks executive director, Bill Ewing, in a statement. "Ocean Logistics is one of our biggest food donors. It will be very hard for us to make up 1 million pounds of food from any one food donor."

The food bank received several types of products from Ocean Logistics, among them dry groceries and dairy products. The company donated a minimum of one truck full of donated grocery products a week. "The donation process was incredibly simple with Ocean Logistics," recounted the food bank's sourcing manager, Mike DeAgro. "Being so close to their distribution center was ideal. We will miss the good work that they have done."

Ocean Logistics, the distributor to Super Fresh grocery stores employs 370 people at its warehouse. Those employees, along with 88 truckers, will lose their jobs after the closure.

Charities like the food bank depend on the grocery industry for contributions. "We're always looking for new food donors," says Ewing. "Our partnership with grocery stores like Super Fresh, Giant, and Wegmans is where we receive the bulk of our donations." Grocery DCs donate items that they can't use, for example dented can or a product with a misprint on the label. Contributing the food saves the food donors the "dumping costs" of such items. Companies interested in donating to the Maryland Food Bank can contact Mike DeAgro at (410) 737-8282, ext. 201.

In other C&S news, co-president Mark Gross said this week that he has decided to leave the company after nine years to form an investment advisory firm, Surry Investment Advisors, LLC and establish a private equity fund. In a statement C&S said that it has already engaged Surry Investment Advisors to pursue strategic opportunities on its behalf.
C&S provides distribution services to grocery chains and independent stores, delivering to more than 4,000 locations from its distribution centers in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, California, and Hawaii.
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