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:Delhaize Group, based in Brussels, said yesterday it is intensifying its citizenship efforts by setting up a new fund to support social cohesion within local communities in Belgium.
The global retailer already operates four U.S. foundations in tandem with its U.S. subsidiaries, Food Lion, Hannaford, and Sweetbay Supermarkets. The newest charitable initiative, called the Delhaize Group Fund, is a company fund, hosted by the King Baudouin Foundation.
"Good citizenship is core to our strategy," said Pierre-Olivier Beckers, president and c.e.o. of Delhaize Group, in a statement. "Finding ways to positively impact the communities and immediate environment in which we operate is a true commitment for Delhaize Group. On a daily basis, the more than 2,500 Delhaize stores play a crucial role in the local communities where they are rooted."
The Delhaize Group Fund is set up to provide money for charitable initiatives that promote integration among persons of different generations, of various cultures, and/or with diverse social and economic backgrounds in a neighborhood or district, according to the company. In the first year (2008), the call for proposals is directed toward Delhaize Group's home market, Belgium.
Over time, as the Delhaize Group Fund has been built out further, projects emanating from other countries where Delhaize Group operates will also be eligible for support, according to the company.
In 2007, Delhaize Group donated approximately EUR 6 million ($9.44 million) in cash to charitable organizations. In addition, EUR 4.3 million ($6.76 million) in cash and approximately 16,000 tons of products were donated with the help of customers, associates, and suppliers. The focus of the charity efforts of Delhaize Group in the local communities is on poverty, healthcare, and education.
Food Lion, the largest operating company of Delhaize Group, supports the Food Lion Charitable
Foundation and the Lion's Pride Foundation. In addition, Delhaize Group operates in the U.S. the
Hannaford Charitable Foundation and Sweetbay Supports.