Convenience and Community Go Hand in Hand

“Consumers expect big brands to be a force for good. And I expect that of us as well.”

Convenience and Community Go Hand in Hand

June 2024   minute read

Shell and Meals on Wheels show how industry partnerships can serve the greater good.

Convenience stores are an integral part of the community—from the products they sell to how they give back. Convenience Matters, the NACS podcast that discusses the latest happenings in the convenience industry, highlighted how one retailer and community nonprofit collaboration tied mobility with local need.

NACS Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Convenience Matters host Jeff Lenard talked with Renee Power, CMO/GM mobility marketing North America at Shell, and Kristine Templin, chief development and marketing officer at Meals on Wheels America, about Shell’s latest consumer-focused initiative.

“Consumers expect big brands to be a force for good. And I say I expect that of us as well,” said Power. “So, when we looked at what organizations we could partner with, the fact that Meals on Wheels is in the community, staffed by the community and most of our wholesalers and the people who owned the sites and operate the sites are part of that community, it was a great match.”

In addition to usual loyalty program features, in November 2023, Shell created an opportunity for members to give. When platinum members filled up, the fuel retailer would donate for every gallon purchased at no extra cost. Through the campaign, Shell was able to donate $200,000 to Meals on Wheels to help tackle senior hunger during the Thanksgiving season.

“It was literally customers doing something good as they did their everyday chores. So, we were able to do that, and help those in the community that are suffering from hunger in isolation,” said Power.

With roughly 152,000 convenience stores in the United States, the potential that c-stores have to make people feel good about everyday tasks is unique. “When you can get people excited about going to get a basic fill up, the whole dynamic changes,” said Lenard.

Shell continues to build awareness about local nonprofits such as Meals on Wheels in the community. The Giving Pump, the company’s national campaign, features a specially marked pump with colorful, purple signage where a portion of a fill-up will be donated to a local children’s charity. It’s a wholesaler-led program that enables Shell customers across the United States to give back to charities in their local communities. When customers pull up at a Shell service station in September and October, they will see the colorful pumps, gain awareness about local charities and can fill up and donate.

Last year, Shell had more than 7,500 service stations participate. Since 2021, the program has raised more than $4 million for 532 different local and national charities that wholesalers support, including organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Make A Wish and others.

“I really commend Shell,” said Templin “… because people really are searching for purpose.”

“When you create a frictionless program such as this, that makes a great charitable experience. It just permeates throughout the whole day—it has a ripple effect,” said Templin “If we can encourage other brands and convenience stores to think about the purpose that they want to extend to their customer, you can kind of pay it forward.”

In The Community

Every year, the convenience retail industry dedicates billions of dollars to advancing the futures of individuals and families in our communities. The NACS Foundation unifies and builds on NACS members’ charitable efforts to amplify their work in communities across America and to share these powerful stories.

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