Contact: Lori Willis
Director of Communications
Sept. 12, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - On the heels of the Schnuck family's announcement of a
$1 million donation of cash, goods and services to the Hurricane Relief Effort, leaders of St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets, Inc. today turned the keys of its vacant Riverdale location over to The Food Bank of the Mid-South.
Under an initiative called "Operation Open Door" the food bank will use the 68,000-square-foot facility as a food collection and distribution site. Schnucks will jump start the project with $100,000 in shelf-stable food items and $25,000 in Gift Cards. The food is being delivered today, in three loads driven by volunteer Teamsters from Local 610.
The facility, at 5270 Riverdale Road in Memphis, Tenn., was a year old when Schnucks acquired it in 2002 from Albertson's of Boise, Idaho; however, the company closed the store in March of 2003. Today, company executives are helping food bank volunteers prepare the store to receive goods once again.
Schnucks President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Schnuck said the idea to use Riverdale as a collection site came from a meeting of the company's own Hurricane Relief Task Force. "My brother Craig and I are heading up a company task force which has been convening since the crisis began. Right now we are mobilizing our resources to deliver help where it is most needed and by the most direct route possible. Temporarily reopening Riverdale will greatly increase the food bank's ability to collect and distribute food from a variety of sources."
Jerry Beck, Schnucks director of marketing and merchandising in the Mid-South and a board member of the food bank, explains, "Through the food bank, the facility is prepared to accept shelf-stable food items from all donors starting with $100,000 in product from our warehouses. " He added, "In addition, Schnuck gift cards will provide the food bank a more immediate means of delivering food to families in need."
Susan Sanford, executive director of the food bank, said, "We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Schnucks and thankful to company leaders for making this site available to us." She added, "Right now, our food quantities are extremely low as we struggle to feed more than 10,000 evacuees over and above our normal community needs. Having a central site for donations will increase our effectiveness in assisting local families housing evacuees during this time of crisis."
Because Schnucks operates its own warehouse and central transportation department, the company will simply add Riverdale into current driver routes. Schnucks will also help staff the store, on a temporary basis, with workers who have specialized skills and are trained in moving product in bulk and operating hydraulic hand jacks and other compact equipment.
The company will track product donations using the same computer systems that control product inventories and logistics operations throughout the company. Schnucks Senior Vice President of Logistics, IT and Manufacturing Bob Drury explains, "Our technology will make it easy for us to control the transfer of product from our Bridgeton, Mo. warehouses to Riverdale without affecting the flow of product to customers in our stores. It will also provide a framework for tracking products donated by vendors or other contributors."
Drury says company partners are already responding to calls for assistance. "Sprint, a partner in our Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) program, will provide wireless data services that will allow us to communicate between Bridgeton and Riverdale to record and confirm product movement." He added, "Two of our warehouse staff members will be dispatched to the area to set the system up properly and train volunteers as needed."
Schnucks Chairman and CEO Craig Schnuck said, "At the outset of this crisis, we made an immediate contribution of cash and product, but today is evidence that we are committed to supporting our communities for as long as our assistance is needed. After all, the Riverdale effort is about feeding people - that's what Schnucks does best."
Anyone wishing to donate food product (shelf stable products only please) or volunteer to staff the facility should contact Susan Sanford of the food bank at 901-527-0841.
Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 103 stores (including five Logli stores) and 99 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Mississippi and Iowa. The family-owned company ranks 94th in the Forbes magazine listing of the nation's "Largest Private Companies."
NOTE: Vern Brand and Mark Wandersee, St. Louis-based Teamsters of Local 610, volunteered their personal time to deliver product to the food bank. Their loads will be delivered at 8:50 a.m. Another retired Teamster, Don Mundschenk is driving a third load down and is due to arrive at approximately 3:30 p.m. The Schnucks representative on site is Jerry Beck. Susan Sanford of the Food Bank is also available for comment.
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