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    Shaw’s, American Red Cross Back Vt. Disaster Relief Efforts

    Grocer will also match donations up to $35,000

    Shaw’s Supermarkets has teamed up with the American Red Cross to help raise funds in support of continuing relief efforts following Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont. Donations will also go to the organization’s local disaster relief fund.

    Through Oct. 27, customers can buy $1 and $5 dollar “pinups” at participating stores in Vermont and in the Lebanon, N.H., area to show solidarity for their neighbors affected by Irene, as well as to support the American Red Cross’ relief efforts in response to the more than 100 fires, floods and other disasters that strike the region annually. All of the proceeds raised from the campaign will go directly to the American Red Cross to aid its activities in Vermont and the Upper Valley of New Hampshire. Additionally, Shaw’s will match the donations up to $35,000.

    “Like many in Vermont, Shaw’s was impacted by flooding from Irene, and we know firsthand that many are still dealing with the aftermath from the flooding,” said Mike Stigers, president of West Bridgewater, Mass.-based Shaw’s, a division of Supervalu in Minneapolis. “The support that Vermonters have given to us, and to each other, has been extraordinary and we wanted to launch this program with the Red Cross to enable continued support to those still in need.”

    “Tropical Storm Irene left a wide path of destruction and the scale of the response was both massive, yet at the same time very local as businesses, communities and individuals pitched in to help their neighbors,” noted Larry Crist, regional executive for the American Red Cross of Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley. “The money raised by Shaw’s and its customers during this campaign will help provide the resources necessary so that the American Red Cross can continue to shelter, feed and assist people in the aftermath of disaster.”

    Shaw’s has also worked closely with the Vermont Foodbank as part of the recovery effort. To date, the grocer has donated nearly $70,000 in food and grants to the organization. “Shaw’s was one of the first calls we received asking ‘What do you need?’ after Irene hit,” recounted John Sayles, CEO of the Vermont Foodbank. “The ice, water, cleaning supplies and ready-to-eat food went right back into the hardest hit communities in the state. Shaw’s is a great partner in hunger relief every day, and we know Shaw’s will be with us for the long-term recovery effort in Vermont.”

    Work continues on the Shaw’s store in Ludlow, Vt., which incurred extensive damage as a result of massive flooding, necessitating a complete rebuild of the interior. The company expects that the renovated location will be back in business by mid-December. In the meantime, Shaw’s has been operating a temporary store under a tent in the parking lot of the location since a week after the storm hit at the end of August.

    “Certainly setting up a temporary outdoor store was something we hadn’t done before,” observed Stigers. “However, as the only grocery store in the area, we wanted to do what we could to help serve the community there and we hope we’ve been able to do that.”

    Shaw’s and its sister banners, Osco and Star Market, operate 169 stores employing about 21,000 associates in five New England states.

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