Okla. Grocers Association CEO: Worst Tornado Disaster In State History
Ron Edgmon, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Grocers Association, is telling The Shelby Report that the deadly storms that roared through the state Monday resulted in what he calls the worst tornado disaster in Oklahoma history. The F5 tornado that struck the city of Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City where Edgmon’s association is based, has—at this writing—claimed 24 lives, including nine children.
Three of those fatalities were at a 7-Eleven store, a member of the Oklahoma Grocers Association. The store, Edgmon says, was destroyed.
Additionally, “three of our supermarket members experienced power outages but had no property damage or casualties,” Edgmon says
“All of our members are coming together,” he adds, “to provide aid in whatever way needed to help our fellow Oklahomans.”
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Reasor’s To Aid In Storm Relief Efforts
Reasor’s is partnering with the Salvation Army to collect donations to help with disaster relief across central Oklahoma. It is asking that the public text the word “Storm” to 80888 to donate $10. Reasor’s will match the first $10,000 donated. Additionally, starting today, all 17 Reasor’s locations throughout northeastern Oklahoma will begin collecting the most needed items, including: brooms, mops, gloves, buckets, hand sanitizer, shovels and rakes.
“These recent tornadoes and severe storms that are sweeping through areas of Oklahoma have proven to be absolutely devastating and have caused a great deal of damage throughout our neighboring communities,” said EVP and COO Steve Lehto “I hope this effort will help provide some assistance to the residents who need support. Our hearts are broken and our prayers are with all the families affected by this tragedy.”
Reasor’s was founded 50 years ago in Tahlequah, Okla. It is one of the largest employee-owned companies in northeastern Oklahoma. Today, Reasor’s has 17 locations and two convenience stores and employs omore than 3,000 people.
Safeway Raises $10.8M In April For People With Disabilities
This year’s campaign brings the total donation from the annual Support for People with Disabilities campaign, along with other fundraising activities, to $150 million to benefit some of the most respected and prominent charities that help people with disabilities live fuller lives.
“We are extremely grateful for each and every contribution that will help improve and transform the lives of countless people and ensure their disability doesn’t define their lives or limit their personal potential,” said Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of The Safeway Foundation.
Each of the company’s Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Dominick’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls and Carrs stores collected donations at checkstands throughout April. In addition, the company and The Safeway Foundation partnered again with Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leading nonprofit providing critical repairs and accessibility upgrades to low-income homes and community centers, to renovate nine homes and nonprofit centers serving seniors and/or people with disabilities.
The more than $150 million raised over the years has financed or supported numerous projects. Funds donated by Safeway’s customers have:
• Trained Easter Seals staff across the country to help expand visibility of early intervention programs, which are critical for special-needs children, especially those with autism or other disabilities;
• Supported 23 Special Olympics programs in 22 states;
• Helped Easter Seals provide more than 37,000 hours of after-school care and other services for children with developmental disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area through Easter Seals’ Kaleidoscope program;
• Provided free training and competition opportunities to more than 13,000 Special Olympics athletes in Arizona;
• Helped Special Olympics Colorado expand to provide sports training to an additional 806 athletes; and
• Financed the renovation of 20 homes and 12 nonprofit centers nationwide through Rebuilding Together, benefiting nearly 5,500 individuals across the country. More than 1,800 Safeway employees donated more than 15,000 hours volunteering on Rebuilding Together projects.
“Year after year, Safeway’s employees and customers go the extra mile to support Easter Seals services for children and adults with disabilities,” said James E. Williams, president and CEO of Easter Seals. “We are proud of the positive impact for our clients, and the families that love them, made possible by our good friends at Safeway and The Safeway Foundation.”
“We are thrilled with the results of Safeway’s campaign for people with disabilities,” added Special Olympics President and COO Brady Lum. “On behalf of more than 550,000 Special Olympics athletes in North America, I want to thank the Safeway store employees who tirelessly supported the campaign and the Safeway shoppers who made generous contributions to help ensure that their local communities are ones where all people are accepted, welcomed, and celebrated for their gifts and talents.”
United Supermarkets Raises $57K To Fund March Of Dimes Research
United Supermarkets LLC’s March of Dimes scan tag promotion helped raise more than $57,000 for March of Dimes, an organization with a mission to prevent birth defects, premature births and infant mortality.
From April 17-27, customers had the option of adding a donation to their grocery bill at checkout. The following is a breakdown of funds raised in each of United’s regional areas:
• Stores in the Lubbock area raised $23,070.91;
• Stores in the Amarillo area raised $19,095.22;
• Stores in the Abilene area raised $7,148.53;
• Stores in the Wichita Falls area raised $4,387.21; and
• Stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area raised $3,986.49.
“We want to thank our guests for helping us raise such a significant amount on behalf of March of Dimes,” said Shelby Crews, community relations manager for Lubbock, Texas-based United Supermarkets. “We know this goes a long way toward helping them reach their goal of decreasing the national premature birthrate to 9.6 percent before 2020, and we are honored to support such a worthy cause.”
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. infant mortality rate fell in 2011 to 6.05 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births, an all-time low. About four million babies are born in the U.S. each year, and the March of Dimes has helped each one through its research, education vaccines and breakthroughs, according to a news release.
Participating stores included all United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos locations in West Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Feed The Children, PepsiCo And Albertsons Help Needy Dallas Families
Feed The Children, PepsiCo and Albertsons partnered with CitySquare to distribute three tractor-trailers full of food and essentials to help 1,200 Dallas area children and families in need earlier this week. Families received food and essentials at CitySquare Opportunity Center.
PepsiCo is a longtime Feed The Children partner and donated a variety of its products including Frito-Lay variety packs of chips and peanut butter crackers, Quaker Chewy bars, Life cereal, Propel water, Tropicana juice and Pepsi Max to families as part of the event. Albertsons also donated shelf-stable and fresh food items including canned vegetables, peanut butter and rice during the distribution. Feed The Children partner agency CitySquare pre-identified families receiving the donations. Each family also received a 25-lb. box of food, a 10-lb. box of personal care items and Avon products. The boxes are designed to help support a family of four for up to one week.
The distribution is part of Feed The Children’s Americans Feeding Americans Caravan, which has helped more than 450,000 families across the country since it began in 2009.
More than one in three children living in Dallas (37.5 percent) is considered impoverished. In fact, the number of children living in poverty in Texas (1,751,189) could fill Cowboy Stadium more than 16 times.
“Many of the families we serve on the Americans Feeding Americans Caravan are making hard choices between paying bills and feeding their families,” said Kevin Hagan, Feed The Children president and CEO. “With support from PepsiCo we are helping to ease the burden for families struggling in this economy.”
Two From United Supermarkets To Receive Leadership Awards
Greg Ammons, regional VP, and David Crews, director of strategic projects, will be honored with “Operational Leadership” awards during the 2013 Ventana Research Business Technology Leadership Summit May 29-30 in San Francisco.
The awards recognize organizations and supporting technology vendors that have effectively achieved superior results by using people, processes, information and technology while applying best practices within specific business and technology categories.
The awards distinguish pioneers and leaders—both organizations and individuals—that exemplify clear visionary and transformative leadership. The award recipients have demonstrated an understanding that the successful management of their processes and performance requiring a heightened level of expertise, determination and a team effort.
Ammons and Crews will be recognized for their roles in achieving cost savings through the deployment of a labor planning tool in conjunction with the workforce management solution from Kronos Inc. Ammons assembled a cross-functional team in 2010 to pilot the system and provide feedback.
The effort has enabled the company to further extend its commitment to excellence in customer service through controlled labor costs, minimized compliance risk and improved workforce productivity. Within just two years of implementing the integrated Kronos time/attendance and forecasting/scheduling solutions across all 51 stores, Lubbock, Texas-based United Supermarkets experienced many productivity and cost saving benefits contributing to multimillion dollar cost savings, a news release says. By automating the scheduling process alone, the company achieved an annual savings of more than $500,000.
United delivers 40K pounds of fresh apples to local food banks
In other United news, the company on Thursday helped serve the hungry in local communities for the second year in a row by making a donation of 40,000 pounds of apples to food banks in Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock and Wichita Falls. The donation signals the company’s committed participation in the “Take a Bite Out of Hunger” program sponsored by FirstFruits Marketing of Washington.
FirstFruits Marketing of Washington created the Take a Bite Out of Hunger campaign to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the U.S. This is the second year United has partnered with FirstFruits. In 2012, United donated more than 44,000 pounds of fresh apples to area food banks.
“United Supermarkets wholeheartedly supports local food banks that work tirelessly each day to combat hunger in our communities,” said Tommy Wilkins, director of procurement for United Supermarkets. “Our donation of 40,000 pounds of apples through the Take a Bite Out of Hunger program allows us to help those most in need and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to making a positive impact in the communities we serve.”
Hunger is not just about being hungry. It also is about food insecurity, or not having regular access to safe, affordable and nutritious foods. In 2011, 15 percent of all U.S. households were food insecure. At 18.5 percent, Texas ranks third on the list with a higher than national average for food insecurity.
”We appreciate the support we get from United Supermarkets during this promotion,” said Jeff Schroeder, marketing manager at FirstFruits Marketing. “This program is about more than just the donation; it is also about getting people engaged and educated about the issues surrounding hunger.”
Now in its 97th year of operation, United Supermarkets is a self-distributing company that operates 52 stores under four distinct formats: United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos and United Express.
Coral Springs, Fla., Boy Designs Tote Bags For Whole Foods
Art is a unique expression, and one that 12-year-old Jordan Hessler takes seriously, especially now that his creative work is gracing the front of tote bags being sold at Whole Foods Market.
The Coral Springs, Fla., resident’s recent drawing of his idea of South Florida “nature” was chosen as the winning design out of several submitted by local children. More than 100 Whole Foods Market customers voted for their favorite design via ballots, and Hessler’s is now featured on limited edition canvas tote bags, available exclusively at Whole Foods Market in Coral Springs. The tote bags went on sale April 22 (Earth Day) and are available while supplies last.
The bags are $7.99 each and $2 from each bag benefits Whole Kids Foundation, which supports schools and inspires families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness. The primary goal of the foundation is to end childhood obesity. The Coral Springs store launched the tote bag design contest to encourage local children to express their views of South Florida nature through art.
Whole Foods Market Coral Springs is located at 810 University Dr.
Brookshire’s Benefit Golf Tournament Raises $400K For Charities
For 25 years, the Brookshire’s Benefit Golf Tournament has united company leaders, vendor- partners and business associates to help raise money for charities and programs benefiting children.
This year’s tournament was held April 29 and raised $400,000 for more than 50 children’s charities, including March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network, Champions for Children, Boys and Girls Clubs, Children’s Village, Children’s Advocacy Centers and more.
More than 500 golfers, including representatives from some 200 retail vendors, participated simultaneously at five courses in Brookshire Grocery Co.’s headquarters area in Tyler, Texas—Cascades, Hollytree, Eagle’s Bluff, Willow Brook and Garden Valley country clubs. The tournament concluded with an awards dinner and silent auction.
“This tournament is one of our largest donation efforts, and allows us to partner with our vendors and other business associates each year in support of a very worthy cause—helping children and their families,” said BGC President and CEO Rick Rayford. “This year’s record-breaking donation of $400,000 further proves our company’s and our vendor-partners’ commitment to serving those in need in our communities.”
Since its inception, the Brookshire’s Benefit Golf Tournament has raised more than $3 million for nonprofit organizations in areas where BGC operates stores.
In the feature photo at top: BGC’s President and CEO Rick Rayford (center) with representatives of several children’s organizations at the awards dinner, where a $400,000 check was presented.