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    Area Grocery Chains Aiding Southern Storm Victims

    Publix, Harris Teeter and Winn-Dixie are among those raising funds

    Publix Super Markets has set up a program to give customers and associates a way to help those affected by the devastating storms that have pummeled the South. Shoppers at the Lakeland, Fla.-based grocery chain may donate any amount by adding it to their grocery bills at checkout. Collected money will go directly to the American Red Cross’ Southern Storms disaster relief efforts. Publix's program will run for several weeks, based on customer response.

    “Our customers and associates have trusted Publix to react quickly and help those affected by tragic circumstances,” noted Maria Brous, the grocer’s director of media and community relations. “This disaster to the South hits close to home, as we operate in some of the impacted areas. Our first priority was to account for our associates and then to focus on our operations in order to continue serving our communities in time of need.”

    In a separate donation, Publix is contributing $100,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in tornado-affected areas.

    Privately owned and operated by its 147,500 employees, Publix has 1,035 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

    Elsewhere in the region, Harris Teeter has kicked off a disaster relief collection event hosted by The Salvation Army and The Green Chair Project, the latter a nonproft that accepts "gently used" household furnishings for distribution to the needy, by donating more than $45,000 in products for North Carolina storm victims.

    To promote The Green Chair Project’s April 30 community-wide collection drive, Harris Teeter on April 29 delivered a tractor-trailer full of product to the nonprofit organization’s warehouse in Raleigh. Donated items included yourbaby Diapers, yourhome Paper Towels, Harris Teeter Facial Tissue, yourhome Toilet Paper, yourhome Designer Plates and Napkins, and Harris Teeter Water. One of the company’s vendors donated SOAPER soap filled sponges for children and Healing Faery Bandage Boxes, for a total donation valued at over $45,000.

    The Matthews, N.C.-based grocer is also hosting a donation card campaign through April 30 in its Raleigh-area locations to benefit the American Red Cross disaster relief fund. On April 17, the company began distributing 4,800 bags of free ice from its Southpark Village store to community members without power.

    And at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., beginning Saturday, April 30, shoppers in any of its 484 stores can storm victims by donating via the “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program.

    “Winn-Dixie is a part of these communities,” noted Winn-Dixie group VP of marketing Mary Kellmanson. “It’s only natural for us to put the weight of our organization against this tragedy. It’s simply what good neighbors do.”

    “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” donation sheets will be available at all Winn-Dixie registers, where customers can donate anywhere from 50 cents and $500 directly to the American Red Cross to aid those affected by storms that have ravaged the region, killing around 300 people and causing major damage. The cashier will scan the” donation sheet, which automatically adds the designated amount to the customer’s total bill.
     

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