Safeway Back-to-School Program Helps Shoppers Raise School Funds

PLEASANTON -- Safeway, Inc., based here, yesterday launched a companywide back-to-school program with the involvement of over 40 food companies, to help customers raise money for their local schools.

Company officials hope to raise as much as $10 million through the "10% Back to Schools" program for U.S. schools in the United States. Under the program, Safeway and the participating manufacturers and suppliers will contribute 10 percent of the sale price of 1,000 selected products to schools chosen by customers.

"Getting our schools what they need to educate our young people is a job big enough to involve all of us," said Safeway e.v.p. Larree Renda in a statement. "By working with our vendors and giving our customers the power to direct the funds, we can do even more than we have in the past."

When customers buy any of the 1,000 eligible products, using a Safeway Club Card, they will accumulate "school dollars" for the school of their choice. The products are marked with a special 10% Back to Schools icon on store shelves. At the program's conclusion, customers will get a final donation receipt showing their total "school dollars." Shoppers can then take or mail the receipt to their chosen school, which redeems the receipt online. There is no per-school cap on donations, Safeway said.

The company pointed out that the program allows companies that usually compete against each other to take part in the same initiative, with the common goal of raising money for education. For instance, Kellogg's, General Mills, and Kraft are participating with their respective competing cereal brands.

"We are pleased and honored that so many manufacturers throughout the industry are joining with us to help schools," noted Renda. "When it comes to helping children, there's room for everyone to get involved."

Last year Safeway donated more than $20 million to schools and education-related programs. Through the 10% Back to Schools program, the grocer and its vendor partners are committed to giving another $10 million. The program runs through Sept. 6.
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