HOUSTON, Texas (Nov. 1, 2023) – Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association (GHRA) in collaboration with Arca Continental Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages (CCSWB) is making a $40,000 donation to the Houston Food Bank as part of the ABC13 Share Your Holidays annual campaign.
GHRA’s Board of Directors made the commitment to the Houston Food Bank to support communities where the association’s members, employees, and their customers work and live. During a presentation at GHRA’s 2023 Trade Show on Oct. 25, Houston Food Bank Chief Development Officer Amy Ragan said the contribution of $40,000 is significant because it will fund 120,000 meals.
Houston Food Bank representatives met with GHRA members and vendors throughout GHRA’s annual trade show to share information on how businesses and communities can support its mission. The GHRA 2023 Trade Show “Next Gen – Collaborating to Achieve,” was the association’s 12th and largest annual trade show to date with more than 2,000 participants and 190 exhibitors.
GHRA is a membership organization that provides resources to independently owned and operated convenience retail stores. GHRA’s nearly 1,100 individual members are entrepreneurs who own more than 2,000 convenience retail stores in neighborhoods across 37 counties across Houston and southeast Texas. Together, GHRA members represent more than a third of the retail stores in the Houston metropolitan area.
The commitment to the Houston Food Bank 2023 ABC-13 Share Your Holidays Campaign was originally announced by GHRA and CCSWB on Sept. 28 at the grand opening of the new Kudos convenience store in Huntsville, Texas. Kudos is a new-to-industry brand developed by GHRA focused on excellent product selection, exceptional customer experience, and commitment to social causes that enhance wellbeing of communities where the stores are located.
Providing remarks at the trade show, GHRA Chief Executive Officer Brian Trout said “GHRA is pleased to support the Houston Food Bank because it serves our neighbors in need throughout Houston and southeast Texas. The Houston Food Bank and its many partners serve communities in which GHRA member stores are located – collaborating with local partner organizations to help enhance the wellbeing of communities throughout and surrounding Houston including and beyond Baytown, Cleveland, Conroe, Hempstead, Huntsville, Magnolia, Sealy, Sugarland, and Willis.”
GHRA Board of Directors President Imran Ali added, “One of the pillars of GHRA and our brands is giving back to enhance the wellbeing of the communities where we work and live. We are pleased to recognize the Houston Food Bank as the recipient of GHRA’s most recent community investment. The Houston Food Bank is an excellent example of an organization that collaborates effectively with others, working tirelessly throughout the year to ensure individuals and families have nutrition and other healthy living basics that they need.”
Trout explained that $20,000 of the contribution is directly from GHRA and the other half is a match from a community fund that CCSWB created using a portion of revenues generated from its business with GHRA members.
CCSWB Account Executive Michael Parsons said, “We recognize that GHRA represents a community of convenience store operators who place significant value on giving back to our community. Arca Continental Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages is pleased to continue our support to the Houston Food Bank with this collaborative donation, which is consistent with our ongoing commitment to GHRA members, our mutual customers, and to our own company’s community investment focus.”
Acknowledging the GHRA donation, Brian Green, president/CEO of Houston Food Bank added, “’No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.’ Those are the words of Charles Dickens, but they could easily be a motto of the Houston Food Bank. We provide access to 120 million nutritious meals in 18 counties in southeast Texas through our community partners of food pantries, soup kitchens, social service providers and schools, but it could not be done without the generosity of our supporters, including Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association.
“Like the Houston Food Bank, GHRA is part of and serves all the communities of the food bank’s entire coverage area,” Green said. “The need is great right now, and the support of organizations like the Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association is essential. Thank you for helping us to provide food for better lives to our neighbors.”
GHRA is planning a volunteer day at the Houston Food Bank during the 2023 yearend holiday season. “GHRA members, staff, and vendors look forward to furthering the impact of our collaborations by rolling up our sleeves together for the Houston Food Bank,” Trout said.
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About Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association, Inc. (GHRA)
Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association, Inc. is a membership organization that provides resources to independently owned and operated convenience retail stores in greater Houston and Southeast Texas. GHRA’s nearly 1,100 individual members are entrepreneurs who own and operate more than 2,000 convenience retail stores in neighborhoods across 37 counties of Southeast Texas. Together, GHRA members represent more than a third of the retail stores in the region. GHRA’s family of brands include Kudos, Big Madre Tacos y Tortas, and GHRA Fuels. GHRA members also developed the Greater Houston Retailers Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has contributed to several community efforts with a particular focus on an annual golf tournament that raises funds to provide support to families of peace officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. To learn more, please visit https://www.ghraonline.com.
About Houston Food Bank
Serving Houston and southeast Texas since 1982, Houston Food Bank’s mission is to provide food for better lives. We provide access to 120 million nutritious meals in 18 counties through our 1,600 community partners of food pantries, soup kitchens, social service providers and schools. Filling gaps on plates, we have a strong focus on healthy foods and fresh produce. In collaboration with our community, we advocate for policy change and racial equity, and promote dialogue on ways to increase access to food and to improve the lives of those in our communities, including services and connections to programs that address the root causes of hunger and are aimed at helping families achieve long-term stability: nutrition education, health management and help with securing state-funded assistance. We are a resource for individuals and families in times of hardship. Houston Food Bank works alongside our partner food banks in Montgomery County, Galveston County, Brazos Valley, and Trinity River area. Houston Food Bank is a certified member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, with a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for the 12th consecutive year. For more information, visit www.houstonfoodbank.org.
Arca Continental Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages (CCSWB)
Dallas-based Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages (CCSWB), a company of Arca Continental, is one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the United States. CCSWB produces, markets, and distributes Coca-Cola brands throughout Texas and parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The company employs more than 8,000 associates who operate 7 production plants and 37 distribution facilities, serving more than 31 million consumers. Headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, Arca Continental is one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the world with an outstanding history spanning more than 91 years. Within its Coca-Cola franchise, Arca Continental serves more than 118 million consumers in Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, and the Southwestern U.S. Arca Continental also produces and markets snacks under the brand names Wise in the U.S., Bokados in Mexico, and Inalecsa in Ecuador. For more information, visit www.cocacolaswb.com and www.arcacontal.com.