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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In response to Hurricane Wilma's impact on its home state, Winn-Dixie Stores here is extending its "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" program to assist the American Red Cross' Disaster Relief Fund. The program, which was launched on Aug. 29 as Hurricane Katrina tore through the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast, will now run through the end of hurricane season, until Nov. 30.
"Neighbors Helping Neighbors" allows a Winn-Dixie shopper to donate directly to the American Red Cross' Disaster Relief Fund when checking out at the register, by telling the cashier how much of a donation to add to the total bill.
Winn-Dixie has stores in 23 metro markets throughout the Southeast, all of which have felt the wrath of this year's tropical storms.
"Our customers all across the Southeast are generously helping their neighbors affected by hurricanes by donating at the checkout aisle whenever they shop," said Terry Derreberry, Winn-Dixie director of communications and neighborhood marketing, in a statement. "As a community and business leader, we at Winn-Dixie value the opportunity to assist the neighborhoods we serve in times of crisis."
Separately, Winn-Dixie said on Friday it has reopened 132 of its 145 stores in South Florida that had previously been closed due to severe weather conditions caused by Wilma. In the Miami area, 76 of the company's 88 stores are open, with 51 operating under full power and selling all items including dairy, meat, and fresh produce.
Twenty-five other stores are operating on generator power, and selling only non-perishables items. All of the reopened stores are operating according to local curfews.
Winn-Dixie operates 145 stores in South Florida, 88 in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area and the Florida Keys.