WAWA, Pa., April 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This April 16, Wawa will dedicate the day of its founding to essential workers and everyday heroes by giving recognition and resources to those courageously helping others impacted by COVID-19. April 16 is the date the first Wawa store opened in Delaware County, in 1964, and six years ago, the date marked the launch of The Wawa Foundation.

“As an essential business, we remain open to help everyday heroes working hard to mitigate the impact COVID-19 has on our community,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa President and CEO. “We are in awe of their strength and resiliency, and will fulfill our promise of standing by their side.”

Wawa will demonstrate its commitment to these individuals with the following support:

THANKS to the Helpers video tribute
Whether its first responders, healthcare workers, teachers, parents, and even Wawa’s very own associates, this video is a public acknowledgment to thank all the helpers who have risen to the occasion to serve and support others in this time of need. It’s a tribute to the community’s strength and an uplifting message for all: https://youtu.be/9a1gyP2IpWQ

Providing FOOD to frontline workers
With local stores providing ongoing food donations to area hospitals, police and fire departments, Wawa will continue its commitment to supporting everyday heroes with a record-breaking donation of 3,000 meals in one week to organizations in each of the service areas. This includes: Einstein Healthcare Network in Pennsylvania, Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Jersey, Beebe Healthcare in Delaware, Johns Hopkins Healthcare in Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Virginia, Northshore Medical Center in Florida and Georgetown MedStar University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

MORE FUNDS Available from The Wawa Foundation
The Wawa Foundation is providing an additional $250,000 for eligible non-profits and local food banks who can apply for support of hunger relief efforts in the company’s serving territory.

Interested non-profit organizations can apply at www.thewawafoundation.org by clicking “Apply for Support” on the homepage. Then, click “Begin the Submission Process” and select “Financial Support.” Finally, non-profits should include in their program ask that it is to support COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Fund. The Wawa Foundation is currently accepting applications until funds are completely distributed.

The Wawa Foundation team will be reviewing requests quickly with approvals being communicated either through a call or via email. Submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

About The Wawa Foundation
The Wawa Foundation is an extension of Wawa’s commitment to making the world a better place by fulfilling customers’ lives every day. The Wawa Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded by Wawa, Inc. to support the company’s charitable giving and philanthropic activities – and ultimately to help build happier, stronger communities. The Wawa Foundation focuses its support on organizations committed to health, hunger and everyday heroes through local, state and national grants and in-kind donations. Since April 16, 2014, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation have donated more than $81 million to causes supporting health, hunger and the heroes who serve our communities every day.

About Wawa, Inc.
Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, PA in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness and “certified” process. As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products.

On April 16, 1964 Wawa entered the convenience retail business when Grahame Wood, opened the very first store in Folsom, Delaware County PA. At the time, it was a different type of business – where friends and neighbors served friends and neighbors in a convenient setting offering fast, friendly service, and fresh products. Today, our purpose has evolved into our commitment to go beyond filling customer orders, to fulfilling the lives of our customers and communities every day.

Wawa is your all day, every day stop for freshly prepared foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services and surcharge-free ATMs. A chain of more than 840 convenience retail stores (over 600 offering fuel), Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. The stores offer a large fresh foodservice selection, including Wawa brands such as custom prepared hoagies, freshly-brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, specialty beverages and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks. In 2018, Wawa was recognized in Forbes as one of The Best Employers for New Grads and one of The Best Employers for Women, and as the Top-Rated Workplace for Veterans by Indeed. In 2019, Wawa was designated by Forbes as a Best Employer for Diversity.

CONTACT: public.relations@wawa.com