Grocers, CPGs Provide Relief for Maui Fire Victims

Fundraising efforts and food donations in high gear
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Follwing Hawaii's worst national disaster, retailers and food companies are stepping up assistance.

As Hawaii grapples with the aftermath of the devasting fires on the island of Maui, retailers and manufacturers are gearing up to help. The death toll from the disaster is over 110, as communications and services in the decimated town of Lahaina remain crippled or slow.

The Save Mart Cos. is one retailer that is responding with a campaign. The grocer quickly rolled out a Hawaii Wildfires Relief fundraiser at all Save Mart, Lucky, and FoodMaxx stores in California and Western Nevada benefiting the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund. Shoppers can donate at the register, and the retailer and The Save Mart Co.’s CARES Foundation will match up to $10,000 of customer donations.

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“Our hearts go out to the victims of the deadly wildfires in Maui,” said Donovan Ford, the retailer’s SVP and chief operations officer. “This devastation is familiar to many residents in the communities we serve, and this fundraising effort is a convenient way for our shoppers to help support those faced with tremendous loss.”

Texas-based H-E-B also sprang into action, earmarking $100,000 in donations and sending 23 pallets of products to the Hawaii Food Bank, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Walgreens is supporting victims by helping Maui residents access their medications. For those affected by temporary store closings in fire-ravaged areas, the retailer is filling prescriptions at its other nearby locations and offering delivery and pickup from a central spot in Lahaina.

In addition to its immediate assistance in the hard-hit area, Walgreens is donating $100,000 to the Hawaii Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund, providing $25,000 worth of essentials to the American Red Cross and giving $5,000 worth of products to the Na Aikane O Maui Cultural Center. Walgreens is also offering customers in the Western region of the United States an opportunity to donate to the American Red Cross Maui Fund at checkout.

Several food manufacturers have also announced support for wildfire victims. Dole Food Co. which has ties to Hawaii dating to the 1850s, and its Dole Fruit Hawaii subsidiary are donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross in Hawaii and giving $50,000 to the Maui Food Bank.

Meanwhile, Hormel Foods and its Spam brand announced that they are sending more than 264,000 cans of Spam to the area and raising funds for the Aloha United Way’s Maui Fire Relief Fund through sales of a specially designed Spam Brand Loves Maui” t-shirt. More Spam is consumed in Hawaii than any other U.S. state.

Based in Modesto, Calif., Save Mart operates more than 200 retail stores under various banners. It is No. 52 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. The largest privately held employer in Texas, San Antonio-based H-E-B has more than 420 stores and 145,000 employees in Texas and Mexico. The company is No. 15 on The PG 100. Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens, which operates nearly 9,000 retail locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is No. 5 on The PG 100.

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