As Hurricane Harvey continued to bring catastrophic flooding and devastation to parts of southeast Texas, Albertsons Companies was mobilizing its entire chain of 2,300+ stores across the U.S. to aid in the disaster relief effort, Kroger Company Foundation kicked in $100,000 to the Houston Food Bank and ALDI ponied up with a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross and another $50,000 to the city of Rosenburg, Texas.
“Kroger is showing extraordinary compassion and commitment to our community by stepping forward so quickly with this gift to the Houston Food Bank,” said Brian Greene, President and CEO of the Houston Food Bank. “Kroger’s donation will help us where we need it most: securing trucks, forklifts and temporary staffing. These assets are vital and essential to the Food Bank. Without them, we are unable to move food into areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. We’ve never had to respond to such widespread devastation, so our need for operational help is higher than it’s ever been.”
Albertsons and Kroger both launched nationwide fundraisers to help the tens of thousands of people in the affected areas meet their basic needs, with Albertsons Companies and the Albertsons Companies Foundation matching the first $200,000 donated by its customers.
“As a company with a long and proud presence in Texas, including the hardest-hit areas, we’re committed to helping our neighbors get through this crisis,” said Chairman and CEO Bob Miller. “We know that the needs are immense, but so is our resolve for making a meaningful impact on the emergency response and humanitarian efforts. Our thoughts and prayers are with Texas.”
Along with the financial assistance, the company’s Albertsons and Tom Thumb stores in Dallas-Fort Worth donated refrigerated tractor trailers to bring and store food at the Salvation Army’s rescue shelter in Houston. The company also worked with multiple food banks to provide food and other necessities to emergency shelters in and around Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.
Kroger sent its mobile Kroger Pharmacy to the Houston area to help refill customers’ prescriptions, provide immunizations, and perform blood pressure and glucose screenings.
“This storm has ravaged our city, but I know the heart and resilience of Houstonians: we can and will overcome this,” said Marlene Stewart, Kroger’s President of the Houston division. “Kroger is working tirelessly to help support recovery, rescue and relief efforts. We will be here every step of the way.”
Aldi’s relief effort also included 1,000 disaster relief boxes filled with canned fruits and vegetables, granola bars, peanut butter and utensils that went to Feeding America. Hundreds of ALDI employees packed the boxes during a service day at the company’s headquarters in Batavia, Illinois, to support individuals and families displaced from their homes due to natural disasters. The June event was part of the company’s long-standing partnership with Feeding America to prepare essentials that could be quickly deployed when needed. Each box contained more than 35 ALDI products. ALDI assisted further by arranging transportation of these supplies to the Southeast Texas Food Bank in Beaumont, Texas.
The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB), funded by Wisconsin’s dairy farm families, coordinated a state-wide effort with Wisconsin cheesemakers to send over 17,000 pounds of cheese to Houston to provide nutritious food for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“We are deeply saddened by the devastation facing Texas residents in the wake of Hurricane Harvey,” says Suzanne Fanning, WMMB Vice President of Marketing Communications. “Our Wisconsin cheesemakers and dairy farmers are inherently focused on helping others so we offered them a way to get involved. Their response to our call for donations was overwhelming – we were initially hoping to send 200 pounds of cheese, but the donations kept pouring in – totaling over 17,000 pounds!”
On Friday, September 1, WMMB employees, cheese company employees and dairy farmers packed a delivery truck in Madison with more than 17,000 pounds of smoked string cheese, cheese curds, muenster, parmesan, classic cheddar and more. The shipment also included 300 pounds of butter.
The delivery is expected to arrive at the Houston Food Bank next week. The Houston Food Bank is the nation’s largest food bank with distribution to its network of nearly 600 hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties. Shipping and logistics support is being provided by Independent Procurement Alliance Program (IPAP), based in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Twenty six cheese companies from across the dairy state were involved in the relief effort. Participating companies include Agropur, Inc., Arena Cheese Inc., BelGioioso Cheese, Inc., Burnett Dairy Cooperative, Carr Valley Cheese Company Inc., Chula Vista Cheese Company, Decatur Dairy, Inc., Cow Candy, Ellsworth Co-op Creamery, Emmi Roth USA, Foremost Farms USA Cooperative, Grande Cheese, Grassland Dairy Products, Inc., LaClare Family Creamery, Marieke Gouda, Nasonville Dairy, Odyssey Feta, Pine River Pre-Pack Inc., Ponderosa Dairy Products, Sartori Company, Schreiber Foods, Inc., Swiss Valley Farms Co-op, Vern’s Cheese, Inc., Widmer’s Cheese Cellars, Winona Foods, and Zimmerman Cheese.
popchips® is celebrating the release of the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” with its introduction of Galaxy Puffs, a line of fun-to-eat popped shapes that are non-GMO and gluten free. The product will be available as an everyday item for the duration of the company’s three-year collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm.
Galaxy puffs are offered in an aged white cheddar flavor made with real cheese, and are popped from non-GMO ingredients: potato, corn and rice, in the shapes of popular Star Wars characters and vehicles including BB-8, the Millennium Falcon, storm troopers and TIE fighters, plus a mystery shape.
“popchips once again used innovative popping technology to create a kid-friendly, mom-approved snack that is the first of its kind in the snacking galaxy. We are bringing beloved Star Wars characters to the snack aisle in the form of great-tasting snacks,” says Marc Seguin, Chief Marketing Officer at popchips. “Galaxy Puffs signify an extremely exciting product development for our brand overall and an exciting evolution in our company’s Star Wars collaboration. Consumers and moms will have a healthier option that meet Disney Nutritional Guidelines and are also fun to eat.”
Galaxy Puffs are being introduced as a great-tasting, better-for-you alternative for moms to choose from when making snack choices for their families. Similar to popchips popped potato chips, Galaxy Puffs are never fried and contain only real ingredients. According to a recent snacking segmentation study conducted by Alternate Routes in 2017 for popchips, 70 percent of busy moms pack chips in their kids’ lunches every day, but moms have overwhelmingly said that finding snacks their kids love that they also feel good about packing is a struggle. When moms tried Galaxy Puffs in a tasting panel, it scored off the charts for purchase intent, and, more importantly, outperformed the company’s existing internal and industry benchmarks for great taste, according to popchips.