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    Produce for Better Health Foundation Applauds Safeway’s 'Lunchbox Winners' Program

    New program supports national initiatives to raise a healthier generation

    Produce for Better Health Foundation cited the launch of the Lunchbox Winners produce program by Safeway Inc., as an ideal way for getting kids eat right.

    “Lunchbox Winners is a fantastic example of how retailers can get ‘hands on’ with the effort to raise a generation of kids that are eating right and staying active,” said Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of the Hockessin, Del.-based Produce for Better Health Foundation.

    The goal of the Lunchbox Winners program is to offer parents an easy solution for school lunches and snack ideas that are better for kids and easy for parents. The inspiration for the program came from Safeway’s desire to support the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters program and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign to help raise a generation of active, healthy children.

    Throughout the school year, Lunchbox Winners will feature a different professional athlete who will encourage children to eat well and stay active. Shoppers will find new booklets in the store each month with simple snack and lunchbox recipes plus tips from the athletes on fun ways to stay active. All the featured products for these easy to prepare recipes will be displayed in the produce department.

    “We are committed to helping our customers meet their nutrition and dietary goals,” said Steve Burnham, Safeway VP/GM of corporate produce. “Which is why we are excited to launch Lunchbox Winners. This program gives our customers great ideas to prepare nutritious and delicious lunches for their children.”

    The program will also include an interactive Web site, www.lunchboxwinners.com, for both parents and kids. The Web site will feature additional recipes, and information from featured athletes, including an “Ask the Athlete a Question” section, as well as links to additional resources for parents at www.FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org and www.LetsMove.gov. The initiative will be promoted by in-store radio and point of sale materials.

    September’s Lunchbox Winners presents Olympic soccer star Brandi Chastain who shares her favorite post-workout snack and some soccer drills. In October the program will feature Dominique Dawes, three time Olympic gymnast and co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The program will recess for the holiday season and return in January.

    Lunchbox Winners was created exclusively for Safeway by Consumer Effects International, a consumer marketing agency based in Rocklin, Calif.

    In other news, after a month-long fundraising campaign to help finance the medical fight against neuromuscular diseases, Safeway announced its total donation -- $11.2 million -- to the Muscular Dystrophy Association during MDA's annual Labor Day Telethon on Monday.

    "Thanks to the generosity of our customers and the enthusiasm of our employees, we are making an important difference in the lives of individuals and families coping with debilitating neuromuscular diseases," said Safeway EVP, Larree Renda, who is also an MDA national VP. "MDA's outreach is without limit and the results of MDA-funded research are nothing short of amazing. I am confident we will see a cure for neuromuscular disease in our lifetime and MDA will be at the center of that cure."

    Safeway's 1,700-plus stores collected donations for MDA and Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) to find treatments and possible cures for neuromuscular disease, such as spinal muscular atrophy and ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The company's U.S. retail stores also participated in the Aisles of Smiles program, which provides MDA a portion of the sale proceeds of specially marked products.

    Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway operates 1,712 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.8 billion in 2009.

     

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