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Safeway stores in Northern California are teaming up with six members of the Bay Area Food Banks collaboration starting Wednesday July 6 to accept food donations for community residents in need.
A specially produced grocery bag containing tuna, peanut butter, cereal, canned vegetables, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and instant mashed potatoes will be available for $10 at all Safeway stores through July 24. Safeway launched the grocery bag offering to make a donation easier for shoppers and to ensure food bank recipients receive good quality items.
“Food banks depend on the community to ensure we’re able to meet the needs of our neighbors facing hunger throughout the Bay Area,” said Michael Altfest, communications manager for the Alameda County Community Food Bank. “We’re grateful for this support and hope that local residents will really step up to help food banks with this drive. We see some of our greatest increase in need during the summer months when school is out of session and our clients struggle to provide three meals for their families each day. These donations will go a long way in making sure more families receive the nutritious food they deserve today.”
Safeway will also work with NBC Bay Area Television and local volunteers Saturday July 16 to provide a special one-day donation/collection. Volunteers will gather at Safeway stores in Northern California, Reno, and Hawaii on this day to ask customers to help.
“We hope customers will help us end hunger by purchasing the items most needed by our food banks,” said Karl Schroeder, president of Safeway’s Northern California Division. “Every bag, every can and every dollar does count.”
According to Bay Area Food Banks, a collaboration of local food banks, the demand for food assistance in the Bay Area has increased by 45 percent since 2008. In the San Francisco Bay area, one in five adults are at risk of hunger and nearly 40 percent of those seeking food come from a household with at least one working adult. (Bay Area Food Banks consists of Alameda County Community Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, San Francisco Food Bank, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties, Napa Valley Food Bank and Redwood Empire Food Bank.)
Safeway contributes $175 million in food donations to food banks each year across the U.S. and partners with local organizations in the Summer and Fall by placing food collection barrels in stores.
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway operates 1,694 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $41.1 billion in 2010.