LAKEWOOD, Colo., March 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- When historically cold weather and winter storms hit Texas in February 2021, Natural Grocers quickly implemented disaster relief efforts to help communities across the Lone Star State. Driven by its Founding Principles, including commitment to community and to its good4uSM Crew, Natural Grocers supplied free water, donated to food banks facing a dramatic increase in need, and launched its Severe Weather Pay program to provide financial relief to its Crew members in Texas.
As cities and towns across Texas grappled with water supply issues, Natural Grocers was ready with clean water at no charge to customers. Tapping into their reverse osmosis water filtration machines, which disinfects water without boiling through an ultraviolet sterilization process, stores were able to provide drinkable water to customers who were without power and water for days. In the days and weeks following the storm, the retailer launched a companywide fundraising initiative to support Texas hunger relief programs, raising over $108,000 for Feeding Texas, a statewide network of local food banks leading an effort to end hunger in the state. From February 22 through March 14, customers were able to donate at the register at 160 stores in 20 states. Annually, Natural Grocers supports food banks in the 20 states where it operates, and fundraisers have become a key element of the company's commitment to the community throughout the year.
"We have ongoing partnerships with food banks in every city and town where we operate because we believe that everyone deserves access to fresh water, high-quality foods, and household essentials," remarked Heather Isely, Natural Grocers' Executive Vice President. "When we see a community that needs immediate and focused relief, we heed that call and trust that our customers will show up with us, which they always do. Our Texas Crew was going through the same hardships as everyone else, and we wanted to make sure they were not required to use paid time off or risk losing wages if they couldn't get in for their shifts or if their store couldn't open. We wanted to show our appreciation to those Crew members who were able to serve their communities and offer world-class customer service through it all."
Due to the severe weather conditions, many businesses in Texas, including Natural Grocers, were faced with potential store closures, adjusted hours, and staff who could not safely get to work. Banding together, good4u Crew members opened as many locations as possible to provide much-needed essentials to their communities throughout the storm and in the days that followed. In appreciation for the Crew's enduring community support, notwithstanding their own difficulties brought on by the storm, the organic and natural grocery retailer developed a Severe Weather Pay program to benefit their Texas Crew. To ensure that Crew members were supported throughout the storm, the Severe Weather Pay program included daily bonus pay for those who made it to their stores, and regular hourly pay for time missed when inclement weather caused store closures or made it impossible for Crew to safely travel to their stores.
Natural Grocers operates 25 stores in Texas, with its Preston & Forest location currently under renovation and scheduled to reopen shortly with a contemporary layout and 40% larger footprint. To find the closest Natural Grocers store, click here.
About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC) is an expanding specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries, body care products, and dietary supplements. The products sold by Natural Grocers must meet strict quality guidelines and may not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners, or partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils. The Company sells only USDA certified organic produce and exclusively pasture-raised, non-confinement dairy products, and free-range eggs. Natural Grocers' flexible smaller-store format allows it to offer affordable prices in a shopper-friendly, safe, and convenient retail environment. The Company also provides extensive free science-based Nutrition Education programs to help customers make informed health and nutrition choices. The Company, founded in 1955, has 161 stores in 20 states.
SOURCE Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc.