NGA Blog

Independent Grocers Lend a Hand During Hurricane Season

Oct 06, 2017

The independent supermarket industry has a long history of stepping up when their communities need them most. It’s often what sets the industry apart from national chains, like during the Great Flood of 2016. During Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, independent grocers once again pitched in wherever they could.

Brookshire Grocery Co. sends out the 18-wheelers
After Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, brought life-threatening storm surges, rainfall, and wind hazards to portions of the Texas coast, Brookshire Grocery Co. (BGC) immediately donated 250,000 bottles of water to impacted areas. On Aug. 30, company 18-wheelers left the distribution center in Tyler, Texas for the Houston Food Bank and the City of Angleton in Brazoria County. The store teamed up with several other supermarkets to create $1, $5, and $10 scan coupons available for customers who want to make donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Fund. By mid-Sept., BGC had raised more than $85,000.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by the hurricane and subsequent storms and flooding. It was important to our company to step up and help,” said Brad Brookshire, BGC chairman and CEO.

BGC also partnered with the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana to assist in relief efforts. More than a dozen BGC stores began collecting donations of food and households supplies.

CEO hand delivers groceries
Donny Rouse, CEO of Rouses Supermarket, one of the largest independent grocers in the US, brought a semi-truck from New Orleans stuffed with $60,000 worth of groceries. Better yet, he hand delivered the truck full of peanut butter, Pop Tarts, cans of tuna fish and chili, and red beans at a food distribution center alongside church volunteers. From the warehouse, the feast traveled quickly to become someone’s dinner.

“We’ve had requests from customers across the Gulf Coast about how they can help support victims and communities affected by Hurricane Harvey,” said Rouse. “We work closely with Feeding America and their Gulf Coast food bank members year-round. We’re partnering with member Second Harvest to assist victims in both Southwest Louisiana and Texas.”

The company contributed $100,000 in supplies overall to Hurricane Harvey victims.

“Stuff a Truck” for hurricane relief
Associated Food Store shoppers were invited to donate $5 or $10 at the register for a “Stuff A Truck! Fill A Need!” effort to go toward food and supplies for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Through their partnership with Second Harvest of South Louisiana and Feeding Texas, the products were distributed to those that needed them the most.

Check out some of highlights from relief efforts among independent grocers: