Tsunami Relief Roundup

Colton, Calif.-based Stater Bros. Markets has launched an in-store fundraising program to support the South Asia tsunami relief effort by the American Red Cross.

All 160 Stater Bros. supermarkets are providing an opportunity for customers and employees to make cash donations to the tsunami relief effort. Customers can contribute by adding the amount they would like to give to their checkout total. The Stater Bros. campaign will run though Jan. 30.

Many of California's independent grocers are reaching beyond borders at both the local store and statewide association levels in an effort to raise money for tsunami disaster relief programs.

"Grocery stores throughout California are collecting donations at their check stands in a statewide effort to raise funds for tsunami relief," said Sharon Paxton, executive director of the California Independent Grocers Association (CIGA), which is based in Sacramento. "Shoppers can tell a cashier the amount they would like added to their grocery bill, or they can place contributions in canisters set out at check stands. In some small communities without a Red Cross or UNICEF office, local stores are serving as the main collection point in town."

The CIGA office in Sacramento is serving as a collection point for its member stores and will forward all donations to the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund.

Since Jan. 8, Kings Super Markets customers have been invited to contribute to the Tsunami Relief fund, in partnership with the American Red Cross, each time they shop at any of Kings' 27 supermarkets throughout northern New Jersey and Long Island. The program ends today.

Parsippany, N.J.-based Kings said it will match a portion of all of its associates' contributions to the relief efforts through a special payroll deduction campaign. The company is also collaborating with local non-profit, charitable, organizations in its efforts to raise funds for the cause.

Food For All, a program of the Food Industry Crusade Against Hunger (FICAH), will also accept donations to help tsunami victims.

"We have been inundated with phone calls from grocery retailers and manufacturers asking where to send money," Denis Zegar, president and c.e.o. of Food For All, "but they are afraid the money will not get directly to the victims."

Food For All's mission is to fund self-help programs at the local level ensuring that all the money is accounted for rather than going to government agencies.

FICAH is a voluntary effort of the food industry to alleviate hunger and malnutrition by fostering long-term, self-help solutions in the United States and in 64 countries around the world. The group operates Food for All programs in over 8,000 grocery stores. For more information call Tracey Taylor at (703) 237-3677, or visit http://www.foodforall.org.

Providence, R.I.-based Eastside Marketplace, which bills itself as Rhode Island's premiere independent gourmet market, has set up a donation collection station and will be collecting cash donations on behalf of Save the Children's Asian Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund. The collection bin will be up until Feb. 28, 2005.

Mauldin, S.C.-based Bi-Lo supermarkets has begun a donation program in its stores to encourage customers and associates to assist the American Red Cross International Disaster Relief Fund for the charity's tsunami relief efforts. The program, which started Jan. 12, continues through Jan. 29. To encourage giving, Bi-Lo will match the donations up to $25,000.

At Bi-Lo, shoppers can request to scan a special Red Cross card at the checkout to donate $1 or more to the relief effort. Bi-Lo operates 282 supermarkets and employs 22,000 associates.

Pat Raybould, president of Lincoln, Neb.-based B&R Stores, Inc. reported that that the company's "roundup" program in its Super Saver and Russ's Market stores raised $13,367.18 for the Red Cross International Relief fund for tsunami relief. This program allowed customers to donate funds to the Red Cross International Relief Fund by rounding up their purchase total to include a donation. "We knew our customers would want to help, and that they did. We are proud to send a check of this size to the relief fund, " said Raybould. The stores took donations for the fund from Dec. 28 through Jan. 9.

B & R Stores, Inc. is the parent company for the Russ's Market and Super Saver grocery stores located in Lincoln, Omaha, Council Bluffs, Hastings, Columbus and Grand Island, Neb.
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