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Florida power outages down to 1.6 million accounts as relief efforts continue

BY Michael Johnsen

KEY WEST, Fla. — Florida Governor Rick Scott and several state agency heads met Friday with local officials in the Florida Keys to discuss recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma as Florida continues to contend with flooding and power outages.

Flood warnings remain in effect across the state and the current power outage as of noon Friday was at more than 1.6 million accounts, down from a peak of 6.7 million outages reported on Monday.

The latest updates on retail pharmacy efforts to assist in the recovery efforts include McKesson Corporation and the McKesson Foundation, which on Thursday announced an increase in hurricane relief commitments, bringing McKesson’s total cash and in-kind donations to more than $600,000.

In addition to previous donations announced after Harvey’s impact, McKesson is now directing $185,000 of product donations to Americares. McKesson employees’ contributions through the company’s donation matching program have continued to grow, now topping more than $125,000.

“Our hearts are with the people and communities dealing with the aftermath of these storms,” said John Hammergren, chairman and CEO, McKesson. “We have employees and customers in many of the areas impacted by the hurricanes and are proud of how our employees have responded to these disasters.”

McKesson has significant warehouse and distribution operations in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma. The wholesaler took proactive steps in anticipation of Hurricane Irma and its aftermath, including contacting customers and first responders to encourage ordering of additional inventory, preparing facilities and operations for adverse conditions and stocking extra inventory of medications and supplies often in short supply following a storm event.

In the wake of the second hurricane to hit the U.S. in as many weeks, Ahold USA and its brands – Stop & Shop, Giant Food of Landover and Giant Food Stores of Carlisle – today announced a donation of $250,000 to help with relief and recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma. This donation will be made to the American Red Cross through Ahold USA's Our Family Foundation.

"We've been touched to see both companies and individuals across the U.S. come together to support victims of the recent hurricanes, and hope our contributions will help ease the stress and pain of families struggling to get back on their feet during these trying times," said Kevin Holt, COO Ahold USA.

Including Ahold USA's previous donation of $250,000 to Hurricane Harvey relief, recent Ahold USA hurricane disaster relief donations have amounted to $500,000.

Ahold USA, its brands and the Our Family Foundation are dedicated to building healthy communities both in stores and through charitable giving, and this donation will help the affected communities rebuild disrupted lives and devastated communities.

 

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Kroger video epitomizes hurricane outreach efforts

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATTI — Kroger on Thursday released a video that showcases the spirit in which Kroger customers and associates have reached out to embrace their Texas neighbors impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

“In the face of tragedy, Houston stands strong,” Kroger stated beneath its video.

“Together you will recover and Kroger will be with you helping and serving side by side with associates, customers and community partners,” the company continued. “To date we have helped raise $1.5 Million dollars for the Red Cross, $100,000 for the Houston Food Bank, $60,000 for our Kroger associate support fund, Helping Hands and filled [more than] 2,000 emergency prescriptions.”

 

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Retail pharmacy again steps to the plate as the South recovers from the latest hurricane

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Recent hurricane relief efforts have expanded to incorporate the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Florida and neighboring southern states as retail pharmacy operators continue to provide support to the associates and customers impacted by floods and power outages.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Walgreens on Wednesday committed to a $200,000 donation to American Red Cross Hurricane Irma relief efforts and also is donating supplies of water and food to relief efforts in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“As recovery efforts move forward, our focus is on supporting our customers and employees who live in the many communities we serve that were impacted by the storm,” stated Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations. “The generosity of people throughout the country who participate in our fundraising for relief efforts will be appreciated more than they know by the people in need.”

More than 700 out of approximately 830 Walgreens stores in Florida have reopened, and all of Walgreens South Carolina drugstores that were temporarily closed are now open. Walgreens also has restored operations in nearly all of its Georgia and Puerto Rico locations that had closed due to the storm.

Also, CVS Pharmacy and CVS Caremark, CVS Health's pharmacy benefit management business, have activated a process that allows pharmacists to provide one-time emergency refills of a 10-day supply of medication for plan members in areas impacted by Hurricane Irma.

In addition, CVS Health, its customers and colleagues, and the CVS Health Foundation donated more than $400,000 in cash and in-kind donations in response to Hurricane Harvey, for a total to date of more than $525,000 in collective commitment related to the two storms.

Florida mainstay Publix Super Markets has also established a program to offer its customers and associates a way to directly assist those areas affected by Hurricane Irma.

“Our Publix family has been severely affected by this storm, but helping our associates, customers and communities is fundamental to who we are,” said Maria Brous, director of media and community relations. “We will rebuild together and support each other in the coming weeks and months.”

Additionally, Publix Super Markets Charities is donating in total $1 million to the American Red Cross and United Way for relief efforts for the affected areas.

And Harris Teeter is distributing free water and ice to customers affected by the recent inclement weather as long as supplies last.

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