Drug chains offer aid to Hurricane Matthew victims

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NEW YORK — The nation’s largest drug store chains are among retailers that are offering assistance to Hurricane Matthew victims.

The Rite Aid Foundation said it had donated $125,000 to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, where Rite Aid operates more than 500 drug stores.

The foundation also said it would donate up to $25,000 worth of in-kind product — including canned food, personal hygiene items and cleaning supplies — to the Feeding America Food Bank in North Carolina and Harvest Hope Food Bank in South ­Carolina.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) announced that customers shopping at its stores in the Southeast would have the opportunity to donate to the American Red Cross Relief Fund in increments of $1, $2, $5 or $10. Donations will support communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti and the Southeast.

All Walgreens stores in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with selected stores in Virginia, are offering shoppers the opportunity to donate to relief efforts at checkout through October, the company said.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people who have been displaced in Hurricane Matthew’s path and the flooding that followed,” said Charles Bernard, Walgreens corporate operations vice president for the Southeast. “They include our neighbors, our customers and our employees, and we want to support them in any way we can.”

In addition, Walgreens donated merchandise to several emergency shelters serving individuals in need in the impacted region.  Supplies include health and hygiene products such as diabetes glucometers and test strips, thermometers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, baby diapers and baby wipes.

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, ramped up its efforts as the hurricane approached the Florida coast. The company issued reminders to customers to address their prescription needs before the hurricane hit.

CVS also moved generators to stores in threatened areas and endeavored to keep stores well stocked with emergency supplies such as water, batteries and first aid items.



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