Help while you shop: Retailers making donations to Hurricane Ian relief

For anyone not sure how to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian, you may have done it already, just by shopping at your local grocery store or even online.

From Publix to Amazon, companies doing business in Florida are stepping up to help communities hardest-hit by the Category 4 storm. 

Below is a list of retailers already making big donations to help those in need, plus information on how shoppers can help.

Winn-Dixie

Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket has reopened nearly all of its Florida stores after Hurricane Ian forced some to close

The grocery store chain has now extended its current in-store community donation benefiting the American Red Cross. 

SEG has extended its in-store community donation program to benefit the American Red Cross, and customers can help equip the nonprofit by donating $1, $5 or simply rounding up their grocery bill while shopping their local stores. Every dollar donated through SEG’s community donation program will support Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Winn-Dixie also distributed free water, ice, food and cleaning essentials to more than 2,000 families in the highly impacted areas of Englewood, Port Charlotte and Pine Island.

It has also activated mobile pharmacies to offer preventive vaccines and essential medications, along with food pantries to provide shelf-stable products, fresh produce, water, ice and essential cleaning supplies in affected areas where stores remain closed.

Publix

Publix Super Markets Charities is donating $1 million to nonprofit organizations, including the American Red Cross and United Way, to help support relief efforts in area impacted by Hurricane Ian. 

Plus, beginning September 30, Publix activated a company-wide donation campaign to allow customers and employees an opportunity to help Hurricane Ian victims. Donations may be made in any amount at checkout. One hundred percent of donated funds will go to the American Red Cross. Publix says the end date for the campaign will be based on customer response. 

Walmart

Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation have committed up to $6 million to support Hurricane Ian recovery and relief efforts to provide essential supplies and grants to organizations providing relief. 

Target

Target has committed $5 million to local and national disaster response partners in response to Hurricane Ian, which the company says is its largest ever storm-related contribution. The donation focuses on immediate needs of residents by providing food, water and other essentials. It also supports organizations that will assist with long-term rebuilding efforts across the region. 

Target says funds will be split between multiple partners, including the American Red Cross, Team Rubicon and a variety of local nonprofits. The company’s Team Member Giving Fund is also available to team members experiencing hardship due to the storm.

Target stores across the region are also using Target GiftCards to support local first responders and nonprofit organizations in purchasing much-needed supplies.

Fresh Market

To help communities impacted by Hurricane Ian, the Fresh Market launched a fundraiser to benefit the volunteer work of World Central Kitchen (WCK) https://wck.org/

On October 5, the supermarket launched a three-week register roundup fundraiser and has committed to match all donations up to $100K where 100% of the proceeds will go to WCK.

Currently, WCK is providing meals in community distribution points in Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, and Fort Myers, multiple Lee County hospitals, Sanibel and Pine Islands, as well as additional food truck placements across several severely impacted communities. 

Starbucks, World Central Kitchen

Starbucks says employees and customers can help impacted communities by making donations at any U.S. company-owned store or on the World Central Kitchen’s website

Lowe's

According to Fox Business, Lowes is donating $2 million to relief efforts after Hurricane Ian. The home improvement retailer also said more than 200 of its Emergency Response Team members are being deployed to stores in the hardest-hit areas to provide additional customer support and "give fellow associates a chance to focus on their families," the company said. 

Lowe's also plans ‘bucket brigade’ events, where it will distribute dust masks, goggles, bug spray, bottled water and mold remover to those working on cleanup and recovery after the storm.

Amazon

Amazon has activated a donation button ( https://www.amazon.com/l/17285237011 ) on its site to make donating easy for customers. Amazon said it has already donated $1 million to the Florida Disaster Fund and activated its Disaster Relief Hub to help communities impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Prior to the storm, Amazon stocked an Atlanta warehouse with one million relief items and loaded 10 trucks with more than 360,000 bottles of water. Those trucks were strategically pre-positioned throughout Florida and the southern United States to deliver clean water to impacted communities. 

Amazon says it is working to fulfill requests from its disaster relief partners like the American Red Cross, World Central Kitchen, Americares, and Save the Children for items such as food, rain gear, traffic cones, solar lights, diapers, medical supplies, and mold remover. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

The AWS Disaster Response team has deployed volunteers and AWS technology alongside international relief organization Help.NGO to help communities get back online and stay connected. 

Starting in Cape Coral, Florida, AWS will help with a wide range of activities including establishing internet connectivity for community centers like firehouses to help first responders, relief organizations, and impacted individuals who are relying on these centers for support.