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03/18/2022

Grocery chains continue initiatives for Ukrainian aid

Three retailers with private label portfolios have announced new initiatives to help Ukrainians as the war with Russia continues.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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The Fresh Market Ukraine flower boquet

Several grocery chains are keeping up with initiatives to aid Ukraine as the conflict continues.

First covered by Store Brands’ sister publication Progressive Grocer, The Fresh Market, Publix and SpartanNash have all announced new initiatives to aid the citizens of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country that began in February.

Several grocers have stepped up already. Last month, Southeastern Grocers said it would be donating 100% of the proceeds from its private label Ukrainian vodka for the next 31 days. The financial effects of the crisis were recently felt by delivery upstart Buyk, as the Russian-backed service shut down following financial troubles.

The Fresh Market announced a new fundraising campaign that will run until April 12. The campaign includes register donations and the sale of special bouquets made with sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine. All proceeds from shopper donations and flower sales will be given to World Central Kitchen (WCK), a non-profit organization that has been providing meals to Ukrainians seeking refuge and sustenance.

"We are profoundly moved by the efforts being made by World Central Kitchen and the volunteer chefs who are providing a warm meal and food stability to the Ukrainian people who are fleeing their homes and homeland," said Jason Potter, CEO of The Fresh Market. "We understand the importance of fresh food and the comfort of a warm meal and welcome the guests of The Fresh Market to join us in these fundraising efforts to help provide food to those in need."

Publix has also launched its fundraising campaign through which shoppers can add donations to their total at the register. 100% of the funds will go towards the Red Cross’ work to distribute food, medicine and medical supplies to Ukrainians impacted by the war.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine,” said Dwaine Stevens, director of community relations for Publix. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to provide a way for our customers and associates to help support the growing humanitarian need both in Ukraine and in neighboring countries sheltering refugees.”

Finally, following its $1 million pledge to support the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Ukraine, SpartanNash has sent its first shipment of supplies to Poland. The food solutions company enlisted its military division to manage the export of essentials like baby formula, diapers, over-the-counter medicines, sports energy drinks and personal hygiene items, which will be routed to those in need.

"Collecting product donations in the U.S. is one thing but having the international logistic relationships to get them abroad quickly is another,” said SpartanNash president and CEO Tony Sarsam. “International freight shipping is an extremely delicate and intricate specialty, as so many details go into these journeys, and coordinating these shipments is one of SpartanNash’s global supply chain strengths."