ST. PAUL, Minn., August 28, 2012 — For the third year, Cenex® Zip Trip stores have participated in growing The Salvation Army’s Backpacks for Kids Campaign in several states. “We helped raise $26,216 in Spokane, Wash., and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and over $5,000 in Billings, Mont.,” says Ian Johnstone, Cenex Zip Trip general manager for CHS. “Every year the donations keep getting bigger and bigger, and we’re proud to play a role in building excitement for this program. Our stores are fortunate to be part of great communities that really get behind this effort.”
The Salvation Army uses the funds to purchase backpacks and fill them with essential school supplies for children in need. “This year’s backpack campaign has been the best ever,” according to Captain Kyle Smith, The Salvation Army, Spokane. ”Having the backpacks gives children a sense of pride and self worth when they get to school on the first day.”
Cenex Zip Trip stores in several markets got involved with the effort after Johnstone read about the program in the newspaper. “I called to see how our stores could get involved because there weren’t enough donations to provide backpacks for all the kids who needed them. Now every time someone makes a $1 donation in our stores, they sign a flyer that we post and we give them a free soda next time they come in, “ says Johnstone.
Posting the personalized donation flyers, running radio commercials, using interior and exterior store signage, and talking up the program at the counter helps build momentum for the campaign. At the end of the drive, the stores post messages on their LED signs thanking the community and letting them know how much money was raised.
“We believe in building local grassroots efforts and being active in our communities. That’s part of the Cenex® brand philosophy,” says Johnstone.
Smith says the involvement of Cenex Zip Trip stores has made a major difference in the success of the annual Backpacks for Kids program. “Without the fantastic support of Cenex Zip Trip stores and their staff, we would probably only be able to serve about one-fourth of the kids we do.”
Participating in the Spokane check presentation were (left to right) Smith and Cenex Zip Trip store manager Robert Woodward, store supervisor Joan Deerheim, store manager Sarah Rodriquez, store supervisor Dave Barrett, store manager Vicki Summers, merchandising manager Jon Fleck, store manager Terresa Harter, store manager Curtis Callihan and Johnstone.
CHS Inc. is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to helping its customers, farmer-owners and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS, a Fortune 100 company, supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, livestock feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.