You may have heard the news that convenience store chain Wawa is preparing to open new locations in Southwest Florida. Yesterday, July 15, Wawa and their community partners held a groundbreaking event for one of their new stores in Fort Myers. The following press release from the event details Wawa's partnership with the Harry Chapn Food Bank to fight hunger in Southwest Florida.
Wawa Donates $5,000 to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida as Part of Fort Myers Groundbreaking Festivities
Wawa and The Wawa Foundation Continue to Fight Hunger throughout Florida Communities
The Wawa Foundation and Our Commitment to Your Community
For more than 200 years, being a good neighbor and supporting the communities we serve has always been Wawa’s top priority. It’s a commitment that is rooted in our core values and lived by all of our associates. Each year Wawa supports hundreds of causes at a community and regional level through product donations, in-store fundraising, charitable grants and special events. In 2014, as we celebrated our 50th anniversary in retail, we strengthened our ability to fulfill lives and support communities in more extensive ways than ever before through the launch of The Wawa Foundation*. The goal of Wawa and The Wawa Foundation is to commit $50 million in the next five years to causes around -- Health, Hunger and Everyday Heroes. As we enter Fort Myers and the Southwest Florida community we look forward enacting positive change in your community.
Wawa’s Donation to the Harry Chapin Food Bank
As we spread our wings into Southwest Florida, we are committed to using the Wawa Foundation as a vehicle to help support our key areas of focus. Very fittingly, we will be partnering with the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida to help fight hunger in the Fort Myers Community. In tandem with the groundbreaking of our first three stores in Southwest Florida and our Community Partnership event on July 15, 2014, Wawa and the Wawa Foundation will present a check for $5,000 to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. The funds will be earmarked to support their summer feeding program and mobile pantry.
[Pictured: Al Brislain, Prsident and CEO, Harry Chapin Food Bank; Rebecca Brislain, Executive Director, Florida Association of Food Banks]
Wawa’s Community Support in Florida
Since opening our first Florida stores in July of 2012, Wawa is proud to have donated more than $500,000 to major community partners in Florida including: the USO; American Red Cross; Second Harvest; and Feeding America Tampa Bay. In fact during the first week of each of our first five grand openings in the Orlando and Tampa markets, we donated a portion of all hoagie sales (up to $5,000 per store) to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando and Feeding America Tampa Bay in Tampa. In total we raised and donated $50,000, ($25,000 to each Food Bank) in five weeks’ time. With each new store opening in Florida and Tampa, we also hosted our signature Hoagies vs. Heroes competitions, where we recognize our local police, firefighters and local responders through charitable hoagie building competitions which benefit charities of their choice.
We’ve also supported local Florida events through sponsorships including: the Miracle Miles to benefit Winnie Palmer; Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure; JDRF Walk for the Cure; and Special Olympics where we acted as presenting sponsor of the home team at the National Games.
Our Continuing Commitment to Fighting Hunger
At Wawa our origins as a Dairy and our establishment as a food retailer compel us to continue to fight hunger. We look forward to supporting the Southwest Florida community in this fight through direct support, in-store campaigns like Check-Out Hunger, and school and mobile feeding programs. Annually, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation contribute more than $750,000 to Feeding America food bank affiliates throughout our 6-state market.
About the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida
The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida opened in 1983. Formerly known as the Lee County Food Cooperative, the Harry Chapin Food Bank has served as the only food bank in Southwest Florida, partnering with 150+ agencies that provide direct services to those in need, including church food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, disaster relief agencies and more. Today, the food bank provides food for more than 30,000 individuals each month. In 2013 alone, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 17.5 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 14.6 million meals, and turned every $1 into $6 worth of food for those in need. For more information visit http://www.harrychapinfoodbank.org/
About The Wawa Foundation
At Wawa, we believe we all have a role in making the world a better place, not only by filling customer orders, but by fulfilling the lives we touch every day. Part of this commitment extends through The Wawa Foundation’s focus, where we will help build happier, stronger communities. The Wawa Foundation Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation (pending IRS approval) founded by Wawa, Inc. to support Wawa's charitable giving and philanthropic activities. We invite you to learn more about The Wawa Foundation. For more information visit www.TheWawaFoundation.org