(AP) — Anheuser-Busch is providing 1,764 cases of drinking water for South Dakota residents affected by recent freezing rain and snow storms that have left thousands without water and electricity. A truckload of donated water left the company's brewery in Fairfield, CA yesterday. Following a 1,500-mile trip , the water is scheduled to arrive Sunday morning.
Local distributor Northwest Beverage will then distribute the water to area shelters, including those in Eagle Butte, Faith, Dupree, Isabel, Cherry Creek and Lantry. “It's important for communities to pull together and lend a helping hand, and Anheuser-Busch is proud to provide drinking water to these people in need,” said Peter Kraemer, vice president of Supply for Anheuser-Busch. “Our company has a long and valued relationship with our friends throughout South Dakota, so we felt this is one way we could assist in this time of need.”
Anheuser-Busch and its distributors provided a total of 210,042 cases of packaged drinking water to victims of natural disasters in 2008 and 2009. These included wildfires in California; hurricanes and storms in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas; and flooding in New York, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. Since 1988, Anheuser-Busch has donated more than 68.5 million cans of drinking water following natural and other disasters.
“Anheuser-Busch is in a unique position to provide water to those in need. Few corporations have the infrastructure to package beverages and distribute them quickly,” Kraemer said. Helping communities cope with disasters has been an Anheuser-Busch tradition since 1906 when Adolphus Busch made a donation to victims of the San Francisco earthquake. Today, in addition to providing monetary support, Anheuser-Busch packages fresh drinking water and donates it to emergency relief organizations for distribution to those in need.