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The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. LLC and Wakefern Food Corp. have joined the ranks of retailers that are donating to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
The Keasbey, N.J.-based retailer-owned cooperative's support will focus on regional food banks in the affected areas its stores serve.
“The areas hardest hit by the storm are at the center of where our stores are located and our associates live. Many of those devastated by Sandy are our friends and neighbors. Reaching out and providing meals and other supplies remains our primary focus and effort in the days following the storm," said Joseph Colalillo, chairman and CEO of Wakefern Food Corp. The cooperative is comprised of 48 members who own and operate nearly 250 supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.
In the hours following the storm, individual stores began donating food, water and ice to local charities and government agencies. Truckloads of food, water and prepared meals have been dispatched from Wakefern’s warehouses to regional food banks.
“In difficult times like these, we often find that the greatest need emerges in the weeks and months following a devastating event,” said Joe Sheridan, president and COO, WakefernFood Corp. “As our communities begin to recover from the impact of this storm, we will work to ensure that our support reaches our neighbors who have been most severely impacted.”
In related news, Stop & Shop and its parent company Ahold USA has pledged $2.5 million from the companies and their charitable foundation, Our Family Foundation, to the American Red Cross. The donations are being made to support Hurricane Sandy disaster recovery and clean-up efforts helping families affected by the recent storm, with an emphasis on the hardest hit areas in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. In addition, Stop & Shop stores in New York and New Jersey will serve as drop-off points for canned and packaged food.
"Stop & Shop is pledging support to our customers, neighbors and associates who have been so drastically impacted in our area by Hurricane Sandy," said Don Sussman, president, Stop & Shop New York Metro Division. "It is our hope that our effort helps ease the pain and speed the recovery of those who have lost so much, and we hope that others will be encouraged to assist in the relief effort and rebuilding process in any way they can."
All Stop & Shop supermarkets are also collecting cash donations at check-out counters to assist regional food banks and pantries. Stop & Shop and the other supermarket banners of Ahold USA have partnered with the American Red Cross to establish microsites for donations to local Red Cross disaster relief efforts.
To help employees whose lives have been disrupted by Hurricane Sandy, Stop & Shop, based in Purchase, N.Y., and Ahold USA also announced a $500,000 donation to the Stop & Shop/Giant Helping Hands fund, which provides funds to the companies' associates in times of need.