Grocery store customers add $81,000 to Oso relief funds

OSO — Fred Meyer and QFC grocery stores have contributed $81,000 to the Snohomish County chapter of the American Red Cross to help with Oso mudslide relief.

The money was raised by customer donations at cash registers or via scan cards in Puget Sound-area stores.

Fred Meyer customers raised $22,000, while QFC customers raised $44,000.

The Kroger Co. Foundation, the charitable arm of the stores’ parent company, contributed a $15,000 match.

The Red Cross has raised nearly $4 million in donations since the mudslide wiped out a neighborhood, killing 43 people, one of whom has not been found.

With the United Way of Snohomish County and the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation, the three large nonprofits have raised about $8 million.

About half of that money has been disbursed into the community.

Of the many recipients of the charitable donations, the Arlington Family Resource Project, North Counties Family Services in Darrington and the Oso Fireman’s Fund have been providing direct financial assistance to people and families who have been affected by the slide, both directly and indirectly.

Other sources of funding from corporate donations have been providing more indirect aid, including staffing of case workers or “navigators” to help locals find aid and other services.

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