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Albertsons Helps Food Banks Fight Hunger Beyond Holidays
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 12/29/2017

Albertsons Companies this week caps off a successful season of holiday giving campaigns that will help food banks provide emergency food assistance throughout the lean winter months. Fueled by customer generosity, store teams gave more than 20,000 turkeys and hams for holiday dinners while generous and engaged customers donated thousands of tons of additional food for people in need.

"Between the extra expenses of heating one's home and buying warm clothes for the family, the winter can bring increased food insecurity for low-income families," said Nancy Curby, senior vice president of corporate partnerships and operations at Feeding America. "People shouldn't have to choose between eating or paying a bill so the gas doesn't get turned off. That's when your donations to food banks and local pantries make all the difference."

In all, Albertsons Companies' 2,300+ Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Star Market, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Pavilions, Haggen, ACME Markets and other stores conducted dozens of food drives and fundraisers for regional food banks, small local pantries and other charities in November and December. Those organizations, which are on the frontline of hunger relief in their communities, rely on the support from business partners to maintain their supplies when the need is the greatest. The company's successful, resourceful and creative winter hunger-relief campaigns throughout the country include the following programs:

- On the East Coast, ACME Markets collected and donated 468,400 pounds of food as part of WMMR Radio's annual Camp Out for Hunger in Philadelphia, the largest single-location food drive in the country. Donations benefitted the Philabundance food bank. ACME also partnered with Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry and his Rush2Victory Foundation to distribute 200 meal kits to Philadelphia families in partnership with NET Community Care and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

- In Portland, Safeway has helped to raise thousands of dollars and over 86,000 pounds of food to date as the title sponsor of the 25th Annual Safeway Winter Wonderland holiday light show, a fundraiser for the Sunshine Division, which provides food and clothes for 15,600 households annually. Billed as "the largest holiday light show west of the Mississippi," Winter Wonderland is a colossal, drive-thru paradise of lights at the Portland International Raceway. Each year, roughly 25,000 people pay $20 to $50 to drive through the display of 250 colorful, animated scenes and are encouraged to bring food donations.

- For the 18th consecutive year, Safeway stores in the Washington, D.C. area provided a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to more 5,000 people at the Safeway Feast of Sharing. The event also included a community services expo where Safeway pharmacists provided free flu shots and volunteers distributed 1,350 new coats.

- In-store food donations that provide food banks with the items that they need most through the winter months are a key part of Albertsons Companies' hunger relief efforts. Customers can donate $5, $10 or $15 at checkout to provide a bundle or bag of food to a neighborhood food pantry or food bank. Each year the campaign raises thousands of tons of food for food banks.

- Supporting veterans and military families is an important element to our giving season efforts. Chicago-area Jewel-Osco stores partnered with the Chicago Bears, MillerCoors and the Road Home Program to donate 2,000 turkey dinners to military veterans and their families. Albertsons and Safeway stores in Washington state joined forces with Operation Homefront's "Giving Strength" campaign to distribute 500 holiday meals to military families.

- In addition to the much-needed support for organizations that provide food for people in need, our stores and regional operating divisions also work to meet other critical needs during the winter months. This year, stores in cold climates joined with neighborhood and regional organizations to collect more than 10,000 winter coats for children and low-income families. For example, stores in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho partnered with ABC affiliate KXLY's Coats 4 Kids program to collect and donate more than 5,000 coats.

"The myriad of ways that our teams across the country step up to help those in need is amazing," said Chairman & CEO Bob Miller. "We take our responsibility toward making our communities better every day very seriously, and it certainly shows in how our teams and customers rally to give back to those in need."

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