Company: Hy-Vee
Program category: Programs Addressing Food Insecurity

Origins:

Heavy rains throughout March 2019 overwhelmed levees along the Missouri and Platte rivers and resulted in catastrophic flooding for thousands in southwest Iowa and Nebraska this spring. A total of 75 cities declared emergency proclamations following three deaths, $1 billion in damage and the destruction of more than 2,000 homes. Hy-Vee immediately responded to assist the communities it serves in the affected areas. On March 17, Hy-Vee teamed up with the Nebraska National Guard and Highway Patrol to send eight semi-trucks filled with bottled water and supplies to Fremont, Nebraska. On March 19, Hy-Vee announced a monthlong “Checkout” Donation Campaign, where customers could donate any amount at the register or customer service counter to support American Red Cross relief efforts. Customers who were unable to visit one of the 28 participating stores could donate online through the American Red Cross website. Hy-Vee then matched customer donations – up to $50,000 – to help local communities devastated by flooding. On March 20 and 21, Hy-Vee collaborated with Channel 10/11 in Lincoln, Neb., to organize a donation drive to collect cleaning supplies and water for those impacted by the floods. Three Hy-Vee trailers were filled with supplies and more than $27,000 in freewill donations was raised at the donation drive. The supplies were delivered to the Salvation Army’s distribution warehouse in Omaha. Hy-Vee also worked with southern Iowa Hy-Vee stores to deliver customer-donated bottled water to the community of Hamburg, Iowa, which was also severely impacted by the floods downstream. Hy-Vee continues to provide donations to organizations assisting with ongoing rebuilding efforts.

Contribution:

In March 2019, record-high flooding swamped residents and damaged roads and other infrastructure in southwest Iowa and Nebraska, impacting the communities Hy-Vee serves. Hy-Vee partnered with the American Red Cross, National Guard, Nebraska State Patrol, Department of Transportation and Nebraska Emergency Management Agency to provide eight semi-trailers full of bottled water, food and supplies, as well as two tankers full of fuel. This made a significant impact by addressing immediate water and supply shortages local residents faced. Three days later, Hy-Vee announced a donation drive to assist American Red Cross’ ongoing relief efforts. In total, community members contributed $157,733 to the American Red Cross, and Hy-Vee donated $50,000 in matching funds in support of the flood relief efforts through Hy-Vee’s “Checkout” Donation Campaign. A check was presented to the American Red Cross of Nebraska and Southern Iowa, with funds going to assist with relief and cleanup efforts.

Objectives:

Hy-Vee is a proud community partner. When natural disasters strike, the families and communities impacted require immediate assistance with supplies and basic necessities for survival. As a company that operates throughout eight Midwestern states, we are well-equipped to assist our neighbors. As relief efforts began, Hy-Vee’s program objectives included: • Providing immediate, critical assistance for the communities impacted by flooding • Raising awareness for flood victims and opportunities to provide assistance • Facilitating an avenue for donations to the American Red Cross, to assist long-term relief efforts necessary to repair more than $1 billion in damages caused by flooding • Supporting American Red Cross relief workers in southwest Iowa and Nebraska • Ensuring ongoing support for long-term relief workers in the form of cleaning supplies, food and other critical supplies

Impact:

Since Hy-Vee began its program supporting the communities of southwest Iowa and Nebraska, it has contributed: • More than 108,000 bottles and 3,000 gallon jugs of water. • Eight semi-loads of food and critical supplies. • Two tankers filled with fuel. • Three semi-loads of cleaning supplies delivered to the Salvation Army’s distribution warehouse in Omaha. • Local Hy-Vee stores provided meals to first responders and repair crews working to restore transportation and utilities. • A total of $207,733 was donated to the American Red Cross through customer contributions and a monetary donation match made by Hy-Vee. • More than $27,000 in freewill donations raised in Lincoln at the donation drive. In addition: • Hy-Vee’s flood outreach efforts reached more than 385 million viewers through traditional media outlets, equating to a news value of more than $10.6 million. This is one of the most significant outreach efforts accomplished by the organization. News value of flood outreach efforts on social media peaked at more than $2 million in value. • Hy-Vee produced a video of the organization’s response to flooding in the Midwest to garner support for flood relief efforts on social media. That video and additional videos of Hy-Vee’s outreach efforts surpassed 1.2 million views on social media.

Quote:

At Hy-Vee, we know the foundation of our company is rooted in the communities we serve. When catastrophic flooding impacted thousands of our employees, customers and their families in Nebraska in Southwest Iowa, we felt it was our responsibility to support them however possible. Through immediate action and coordination with local organizations, Hy-Vee was able deliver several truckloads of critical supplies to flood victims. We then raised $207,733 through individual donations from customers and a corporate donation to support the American Red Cross with their long-term relief efforts. Hy-Vee will continue to work with the Red Cross, local officials and our community partners to meet areas of need for the victims of this historic flood. - Randy Edeker, chairman of the board, CEO and president of Hy-Vee