Vacaville Area Grocers, Suppliers Aid U.S. Military Family Voluntary Evacuees from Japan


Contact: Dave Heylen, V.P. Communications California Grocers Association
Tel: 916.448.3545
Fax: 916.448.2793
E-mail: [email protected]

California Grocers Association
1415 L Street, Suite 450
Sacramento, CA 95814

Local businesses donate thousands of pounds of food and personal hygiene products.

FAIRFIELD, CA – (March 25, 2011) Family members of U.S. military personnel being evacuated from Japan in the wake of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami had their lengthy processing layover at Travis Air Force Base eased by concerned local elected officials, area grocers and suppliers, and civic and church groups.

Beginning Wednesday morning, more than 600 individuals a day disembarked government aircraft after flying half way around the world and wait upwards of six hours in a base hanger to go through U.S. Customs and secure connecting flights to other parts of the U.S.

The sudden influx of parents, family members, children and pets quickly overwhelmed base officials and the call soon went out for help. Vacaville Councilmember Dilenna Harris contacted area grocers asking for donated products.

“We were impressed with how quickly the grocery industry stepped up to support our military families,” Councilmember Harris said. ‘Their overwhelming response speaks volumes to their support of our military and their families, as well as Solano County.”

Local grocery retailers including Raley’s, Safeway Inc., Save Mart Supermarkets, Walmart, and WinCo Foods, along with suppliers Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Jelly Belly Candy Company and Pepsi Beverages Co. quickly responded, providing the weary travellers with thousands of pounds of snacks, protein bars, crackers, fruit, beverages and personal hygiene products including hand sanitizers, baby wipes and diapers.

“Our members were ready and willing to help these voluntary evacuees get to their homes here in the states,” said California Grocers Association President Ronald Fong. “The outpouring of support by not only the grocery community but civic groups, churches and other organizations was awesome to witness.”

“As a former member of the U.S Air Force, I was impressed with the speed and volume of the grocery industry’s response,” said Solano County Supervisor Mike Reagan. “It shows how our grocers support our community in so many ways.”

The California Grocers Association is a non-profit trade association representing the food industry since 1898. CGA represents approximately 500 retail members operating over 6,000 food stores in California and Nevada, and approximately 200 grocery supplier companies.