Rite Aid Foundation names new leader, donates $5M for COVID-19 relief efforts

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Rite Aid Foundation names new leader, donates $5M for COVID-19 relief efforts

By David Salazar - 04/07/2020

The Rite Aid Foundation has new leadership and is wasting no time in providing funds to support COVID-19 relief efforts. The charitable arm of the Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid on Tuesday named Matthew DeCamara executive director. It also is donating $5 million across various sectors to support healthcare workers, families and employees in its markets. 

DeCamara joins the Rite Aid Foundation from SeriousFun Children’s network, where he was chief development officer, and brings with him more than 25 years of experience in philanthropic and corporate experience, including with the United Way Worldwide and the GE Foundation. In his new role, DeCamara has been tasked with overseeing the foundation team, which implements Rite Aid’s KidCents program, supports a prescription drug safety program and manages the in-store campaign that benefits the Children’s Miracle Network, among other duties. 

“There’s no greater mission than supporting whole-being health for those most important to us: our children. That’s why I’m thrilled to join the Rite Aid Foundation,” DeCamara said. “Already the foundation’s impact stretches across the country – into classrooms and museums, therapy centers and hospitals — and I’m eager to build upon the amazing work that’s already been done. As the foundation looks to the future, we’re committed to creating thriving and healthy communities where children have access to the resources they need to live well and grow into successful adults.”

Jessica Kazmaier, president of the foundation’s board of directors and Rite Aid chief human resources officer, said, “As the Rite Aid Foundation evolves, Matthew’s deep experience, strategic approach and commitment to the health and wellbeing of children will ensure our work continues to resonate across the communities that Rite Aid serves. Matthew joins Rite Aid and The Rite Aid Foundation during a pivotal time in our company’s history, and we look forward to seeing him take our philanthropic efforts to the next level.”

With regard to the foundation’s philanthropic efforts, on Wednesday the organization announced a $5 million package supporting healthcare workers, children, families and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with grants going to organizations providing community resources. Community grants will front-line workers, nurses’ needs, lab capacity improvement and hunger-relief efforts, among other causes. 

Among recipients, $1.5 million will go to organizations and funds supporting first responders and healthcare workers, including the CDC Foundation and others. Another $1.5 million will go to regional response funds in pandemic hotspots, including New York New Jersey, Michigan, Seattle and Los Angeles — which will receive portions of $750,000. Rite Aid said it would retain $750,000 for future hotspots. The company is giving $1 million to community needs, with Feeding America and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America each receiving $500,000. 

As Rite Aid steps up its in-store efforts to protect employees, the foundation has set aside $1 million as the Rite Aid Foundation Associate Relief Fund, which will support grants for associates with financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be applied to medical, childcare, household or special expenses. 

"In difficult times, the Rite Aid Foundation continues to find inspiration in the everyday heroes - the first responders and healthcare providers, the nonprofit organizations and our own associates - who are protecting the health and wellness of their communities," Kazmaier said. "It will take an extraordinary and collective response to ensure we recover from this pandemic and thrive well beyond these uncertain days. The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to stand with the courageous men and women who selflessly continue to do their jobs and fight this battle in communities across the country."