As the devastation from Hurricane Florence unfolds, I am deeply inspired by partners and customers across the region who are already coming together in extraordinary ways to take care of one another and their communities. Through conversations with Derrick Pratt, Ben Coarde III, and local leadership, as well as stories shared on Workplace, I’m proud to see the continued focus on the safety and well-being of more than 2,700 partners in the region. For me, it is yet another reminder of what we can accomplish when we come together, living Our Mission of inspiring and nurturing the human spirit. We will continue to make them our top priority as the long road to recovery begins.
To help ease some of the financial uncertainty in this time of stress, we are offering partners impacted by store closings the option to temporarily relocate to a neighboring operational store, and in many cases receive catastrophic pay. I also encourage any impacted partners to apply for a grant from the CUP Fund by calling the Partner Contact Center (PCC) at (866) 504-7368 or the Hurricane Florence Support Line at (844) 241-5963. For those of you not immediately impacted, please help raise awareness of CUP Fund grants to partners in need and continue to round up your purchases at our company-operated stores. You can find out more about the CUP Fund at MyPartnerInfo.
In the last few days, the CUP Fund has already issued 46 grants to partners in North Carolina, and the PCC team is ready to assist and expedite additional requests. Founded by partners in 1998 and funded entirely by donations from Starbucks partners, this program continues to demonstrate how we take care of one another in unexpected times of need. Since 1998, your contributions have helped give $20 million in grants to 21,000 partners. Just last year, more than 2,000 partners impacted by Hurricane Harvey received more than $1 million in donations.
To support impacted communities, The Starbucks Foundation contributed $200,000 to the American Red Cross’ disaster-relief fund. We also activated donations to the American Red Cross via the Starbucks Mobile App and created a POS button in more than 8,000 U.S. company-operated locations to make it easier for our customers to contribute. Partners who donate to eligible non-profit organizations can request a matching gift from Starbucks.
Our partners at the Red Cross shared that they are currently sending trained and skilled disaster- response volunteers to the communities affected. Individuals without prior training who live in and around the impacted areas can find a volunteer opportunity at redcross.org/volunteer. As the rescue efforts transition to recovery, Starbucks will support organizations like Team Rubicon in rebuilding efforts on the ground. As with past disasters, we will lend our support to this community for the long-term and will share more soon on ways you can get involved.
While the threat of devastating floods remains, I want to take this moment to thank those who have already given to the CUP Fund, donated to the Red Cross, or found other ways to assist. Over the last day, we reopened 68 stores and were able to resume full operations at the Sandy Run Roasting Plant. Our teams are now working to reopen 27 closed stores (13 company-operated and 14 licensed stores) with a focus on partner and customer safety. We know from recent hurricanes and other natural disasters that recovery will take time, but the courage, strength and resilience of our partners on the ground, combined with the support of thousands of partners across the country are powerful reminders of how we can inspire and nurture one another and the communities we serve.
executive vice president, president U.S. Retail