Supermarkets pitch in to support bushfire victims

Supermarket giants Woolworths, Coles and Aldi are doing their part to help communities devastated by Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis.

Woolies is donating half a million dollars to the S.T.A.N.D (Support Through Australian Natural Disasters) program to support The Salvation Army which is hoping to raise A$3 million to support bushfire evacuees and emergency personnel.

“The situation is serious and it is important that we rally together. Woolworths will be donating another half a million dollars to the S.T.A.N.D program to support the efforts of The Salvation Army in this time of crisis. We encourage customers to do so as well if they’re able and we will be collecting donations for The Salvation Army at all Woolworths stores,” Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci said.

Coles and Aldi are offering more practical support on the ground, with Coles donating over A$4,000 worth of products including water, fresh fruit, UHT milk, coffee, tea, snacks, sanitary and hygiene products to Yeppoon, Queensland.

Coles has also provided food, sanitary and hygiene products to the firefighters currently stationed at the University next to Lake Innes (New South Wales) store, and has donated to other Community Relief Centres affected by the bushfires.

“Coles store team members are working to provide practical support with donations of food, water and other essentials to emergency crews and relief workers in areas of New South Wales and Queensland affected by fire. To ensure our stores can stay open for customers, we have organised additional deliveries of staple items to affected areas and adjusted rosters to account for team members who are unable to travel to work or have been personally impacted by the fires. We have made significant donations to fire crews,” Coles said in a statement.

Discount grocer Aldi said it has a number of employees located in fire-affected areas.

Our primary focus is their wellbeing,” the retailer said in a statement to Inside FMCG.

“Our local stores have donated food and other items to local charities on the ground to support those in emergency evacuation centres, as well as the RFS. We are committed to continue to support local communities in which we operate through these difficult times.”

Currently, there are Salvation Army’s Emergency Services teams stationed at six evacuation centres in New South Wales, including Wauchope, Macksville, Bowraville, Hazelbrook, Ballina and Old Bar, Taree.

“Our hearts go out to the families and individuals who have been affected by the bushfires in NSW and QLD. We are currently on the ground providing support and will remain on the ground in the months to come as people begin to recover and rebuild,” The Salvation Army spokesperson major Bruce Harmer said.

In Queensland, The Salvation Army Emergency Service teams from Noosa and Caloundra are providing food for the Queensland Police personnel while the Fassifern Salvos SAES team is feeding Queensland Fire and Emergency Services personnel at Boonah.

Every Coles supermarket in Port Macquarie is providing customer donation trolleys so Australians can contribute required items such as water, Powerade, lip balm, underwear, etc.

“We have made changes to rostering to ensure our stores can continue to trade as many team members live in affected areas or are home with children due to school closures,” said Coles.

If you would like to make a donation to the Salvation Army, you can do so by visiting salvationarmy.org.au, calling 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or by making a donation at any Woolworths checkout.

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