SpartanNash is donating emergency supplies to survivors of massive earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria earlier this week.
The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based grocery wholesaler said it’s partnering with nonprofit Convoy of Hope to distribute bottled water and diapers in both countries, which as of Friday have reported a total of more than 24,000 deaths and over 75,000 injuries from the powerful quakes.
Southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria on Monday were hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which wrecked whole communities and caused widespread devastation. The regions also experienced 1,000 aftershocks, including a 7.7-magnitude shock hours after the main quake. Efforts to rescue survivors trapped under rubble and provide care for the injured were hampered by a winter storm that covered wreckage with snow and brought plunging temperatures.
The Turkey-Syria earthquakes also have left hundreds of thousands of people without shelter and exposed to the elements.
SpartanNash said it’s providing two truckloads of supplies as part of relief initiatives coordinated by Convoy of Hope. Besides serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, SpartanNash also distributes food and other products to the Middle East region (Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar) as well as to Europe, Japan, Korea, Cuba, Honduras and Djibouti.
“The destruction in Turkey and Syria is unimaginable, and we feel compelled to leverage supplies we have in stock to provide critical aid as fast as possible,” SpartanNash CEO Tony Sarsam said in a statement. “Serving and creating solutions are embedded in our corporate identity, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help. We will continue to monitor the need in this area, and we once again invite our supplier community to join us in providing support.”
Currently, food, water and heat are the chief needs, Convoy of Hope reported. Clothing, tents, sleeping bags, diapers, baby formula and fuel also are in high demand, the relief organization said, noting that supplies are en route.
“As we see the devastation following those powerful earthquakes in the Middle East, Convoy of Hope is pleased to be working, again, with SpartanNash to get life-sustaining essentials to people in need,” Ethan Forhetz, vice president of public engagement for Convoy of Hope, stated on Thursday. “Convoy is so grateful for the generosity of SpartanNash to make a real difference in the lives of people. As a company, they have demonstrated time and time again that they lead with kindness.”
SpartanNash noted that it regularly partners with Convoy of Hope to send urgent supplies to people following natural and humanitarian disasters. Last year, the company donated more than $1 million in products and financial aid to the people of Ukraine following the country’s invasion by Russia, in addition to supporting survivors of other disasters in Puerto Rico, Florida, Mississippi and Kentucky.