In the devastating wake of Hurricane Ida, Rouses Markets CEO Donny Rouse has revealed the creation of a disaster relief fund seeded with $100,000 from the company. This first $100,000 in the Rouses Markets Disaster Fund, a registered 501(3)c charitable organization, will go to Rouses Markets associates in Louisiana’s Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes who have lost their homes and personal belongings as a result of the hurricane.
The family-owned grocer is also working with its supplier partners to raise donations for the fund. “We have received an outpouring of support from our vendor community,” noted Rouse. “A lot of them know our affected team members personally; they work with them every day.”
Rouses Markets employees in Ida-affected areas in Louisiana and Mississippi are currently receiving time-and-half pay, and Rouses is also offering free hot meals. “Our team members are taking care of our customers, helping their neighbors in need, even as they are putting the pieces of their own lives back together,” said Rouse. “We are so grateful and lucky to have the team that we do.”
Further, associates in affected areas where Rouses Markets has fuel tanks can get 20 gallons of free fuel, while supplies last. Additionally, in the spirit of locals helping locals, Rouses plans to launch a donation campaign online and in its stores across the Gulf Coast.
Other grocers whose market areas were hit by Ida, including Southeastern Grocers and Publix Super Markets, have also mounted relief efforts.
Thibodaux, La.-based Rouses Markets employs approximately 7,000 people and operates 65 full-service supermarkets in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The company is No. 84 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food retailers in North America. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, with more than 1,200 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, is No. 11 on The PG 100, while Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers, one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina, is No. 43.