Safeway Commemorates Hunger Awareness Day With Local Food Drives.
PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) will participate in National Hunger Awareness Day on June 5, 2007 as a way to focus attention on the issue and announce the launch of several seasonal food drives and hunger awareness programs. This summer Safeway will conduct food drives and fundraisers in several major cities as part of its ongoing commitment to hunger relief programs.
"As a food retailer, hunger is an important focus and a natural fit for our community outreach," said Larree Renda, Safeway Executive Vice President, Chief Strategist and Administrative Officer and Chairwoman of The Safeway Foundation. "As the need increases, Safeway is even more committed to supporting the food banks and agencies at the forefront of the fight against hunger."
Safeway's summer of hunger relief campaigns begins on June 5th in the nation's capital where the Washington D.C. City Council receives a special delivery from Safeway and the local food bank. The Capital Area Food Bank will deliver National Hunger Awareness Day box lunches provided by Safeway with information about hunger in the D.C. area. County council members in Virginia and Maryland will also receive the hunger awareness lunches from the Capital Area Food Bank. Simultaneously, Delaware state elected officials will receive Safeway lunches and literature delivered by the Food Bank of Delaware as a way to raise awareness about hunger issues. Both food banks receive ongoing donations of food from Safeway stores and food distribution centers on the East Coast.
On the West Coast, two major Safeway-sponsored events promise to bring significant donations to regional food banks and feeding programs. In Portland, Safeway is the long-time sponsor of the largest music festival for hunger relief of its kind, the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival benefiting the Oregon Food Bank. This year the festival begins on July 4th, spans five days and features 150 performances from celebrated artists, including The Neville Brothers, Koko Taylor, Joan Armatrading and The Blind Boys of Alabama. Event attendees are asked to contribute non-perishable food as part of the cover charge. This year the food bank hopes to raise $600,000 and collect 110,000 pounds of food.
Stores in the San Francisco Bay Area will team up with the local ABC television affiliate, KGO ABC-7, to address a specific hunger need that increases each year and affects the youngest among us. When school is out for the summer, children who receive free school lunches miss that meal, which for many children, is the only hearty meal of the day.
The Safeway and ABC-7 Summer Food Drive seeks to fill that void by collecting food to help hunger relief agencies meet the increased need of families with school-aged children. This year's food drive launches on July 1 with a goal of collecting 55,000 pounds of food. This is one of three annual Safeway-sponsored food drives benefiting food banks in the Bay Area.
In the Southwest, Safeway's Randalls stores in the Austin, Texas area will once again partner with CBS 42 KEYE-TV for the annual food drive benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Last year's seven-day drive garnered 7,604 pounds of food -- equal to 41,211 meals. From July 16 through July 22, Randalls customers will be invited to donate food items or make a monetary contribution at checkstands. CBS 42 will broadcast live from various Randalls locations throughout the week to urge viewers to donate.
Safeway is one of the largest corporate supporters of hunger relief programs nationwide, contributing $110 million in food and financial support to food banks and other local feeding programs in 2006. The company maintains special programs and initiatives to assist hunger relief agencies when the need is greatest, such as during the summer months and the holiday season. During the holidays Safeway-sponsored food drives, fundraisers and meal programs collect the equivalent of 1.8 million meals. The company is also one of the largest contributors to America's Second Harvest food banks.
"Safeway has long been one of our most important corporate partners," said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of America's Second Harvest. "They are proactively creating opportunities to better serve the hungry, and we appreciate their efforts."
America's Second Harvest feeds more than 25 million people through a network of 50,000 charitable agencies, such as soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency shelters.
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 35 million Americans, including 12 million children, are living in food-insecure households -- households that are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire sufficient food to meet basic needs.
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,755 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.2 billion in 2006. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and last year donated more than $154 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education, food banks and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.