UPDATE: Supermarkets Raise Funds in Wake of Japan Disaster

In a heartwarming display of the supermarket industry’s willingness to help whenever devastation strikes, grocery store chains across the United States have begun collecting donations to aid victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Many of these grocers are accepting contributions to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami, which provides funding for relief supplies and other needs.

Among the supermarket companies participating in donation drives at checkout are Wegmans Food Markets, Save Mart, Big Y,  and Ahold's Giant-Carlisle/Martin's Food Markets and Stop & Shop divisions. Price Chopper has made visitors to its website aware of the Red Cross’ texting campaign, which enables participants to make a $10 donation by cell phone. Bi-Lo Foods has teamed with Google to enable shoppers to donate to the Red Cross online at www.bi-lo.com or www.bi-locharities.com, and will match customer donations up to $50,000.

“Our hearts break for the Japanese people,” said Danny Wegman, CEO of Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, whose Wegmans Family Charitable Foundation is also making a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross fund. “Many of our employees and our customers have family and friends in Japan, and we also have suppliers there. We all want to help.”

"Our associates and customers want to help those in need following the devastating earthquake and and tsunami in Japan," noted Rick Herring, division president for Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant/Martin's, which, together with its sister Ahold USA banners, has already donated $100,000 to the Red Cross fund aiding the victims, and whose in-store contribution campaign runs through April 3. "We are fortunate to be in a position to help with humanitarian relief efforts during this difficult time."

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