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Industry does its part as another natural disaster hits

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NEW YORK — Community pharmacy operators continue to respond to an unprecedented string of natural disasters across the United States.

CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Rite Aid Corp., Discount Drug Mart, Albertsons Cos., Kroger Co. and Walmart are among the community pharmacy operators contributing funds and other assistance.

The Albertsons Cos. Foundation organized an in-store fund-raiser to aid in the recovery from the California wildfires. More than a dozen fires swept through the state’s wine country this month, destroying more than 1,500 homes and businesses and sending an estimated 20,000 people fleeing to safety through smoke and flames.

Money raised at Safeway, Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons stores in California and northern Nevada is going to the Red Cross and other organizations helping people recover from the wildfires.

Walmart has also pledged funds to assist in the wildfire recovery. This follows a commitment by the company and the Walmart Foundation of $40 million in support of relief efforts from Hurricane Maria, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey that wreaked havoc in Puerto Rico, Florida and the Gulf Coast of Texas, ­respectively.

“We want to do all we can to help, not only with immediate hurricane assistance but in the long term, knowing that there are many challenging days of recovery and rebuilding ahead,” explained Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart.

CVS Health this month held a 10-day fundraising campaign that netted nearly $4 million from “customers and colleagues” to support devastated communities in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.

The company also announced it would donate $6 million worth of critical products and supplies to these communities. The funds were being evenly split between Unidos por Puerto Rico, Rebuild Texas Fund and the Florida Disaster Fund. Products were to be distributed to communities where they are needed the most.

“We are incredibly grateful to our colleagues and customers who have demonstrated our values of caring and integrity over the past few weeks during these historic storms,” stated Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy. “The rebuilding process for many of these communities will take a long time, and we will continue to do our part by providing support during this difficult time.”

Walgreens announced the donation of food items, first aid and medical equipment, including blood pressure cuffs, glucometer strips, catheters and transport wheelchairs, to the American Red Cross emergency shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston following Hurricane Harvey, which brought record rainfall to Houston and flash floods across the Texas and Louisiana coastal region.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Walgreens committed $250,000 to the American Red Cross for its relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In addition, Walgreens facilitated the collection of donations from customers at checkout at approximately 8,000 Walgreens and Duane Reade locations in the United States and Puerto Rico, with the funds going to the Red Cross.


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