Safeway Inc. was recognized this week for its charitable giving by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) with the organization’s 2011 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation.
“Safeway is a model of corporate citizenship, not only taking the lead on a broad range of issues, but also working closely with local employees to ensure that community needs are addressed through its philanthropy,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “Safeway is a shining light of innovation and dedication to the charities it supports, and all of us at AFP are honored to be able to recognize the company for its philanthropic efforts.”
The award honors companies that demonstrate outstanding commitment to important causes through financial support and encouragement, as well as the company’s ability to motivate others to take on leadership roles in their communities. The award was presented to Larree Renda, EVP of Safeway Inc. and chair of the Safeway Foundation, earlier this week in Chicago during AFP’s 48th International Conference on Fundraising.
AFP specifically praised Safeway’s long-standing partnerships with a number of highly respected charities as “the epitome of corporate philanthropy.”
Each year Safeway raises and donates more than $200 million in monetary and product support to various causes, including cancer research, education, hunger relief, and organizations helping people with disabilities.
Safeway was nominated for the AFP award by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the AFP Vancouver Chapter. The grocer is one of the largest corporate funders of cancer research, supporting leading-edge breast cancer research at some of North America’s top cancer centers including the University of California at San Francisco, the University of Colorado Anschutz Cancer Center, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center as well as the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Over the last 10 years, it has raised more than $94 million for breast cancer research, funding programs such as mobile screening units that bring free or low-cost digital mammograms to women in low-income neighborhoods. In Canada, the company funded the Tour for the Cure, a moving education exhibit that brought awareness about breast cancer to remote locations and ethno-cultural audiences.
Since 2001 Safeway has raised more than $65 million for prostate cancer research through a wide range of in-store events, forming partnerships with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Prostate Cancer Canada.
“We are honored to count our company among the past recipients of the Freeman Award,” said Renda. “These honorees share Safeway’s passion and commitment to creating community partnerships that produce meaningful and visible results. The success of our programs lies squarely with the dedication of our employees and the generosity of our customers.”
Over the last 25 years, Safeway has raised more than $100 million for Easter Seals in the U.S. and Canada and other organizations that assist people and families with a wide range of intellectual and physical disabilities. Safeway is also one of the top corporate fundraisers of the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the U.S. and Muscular Dystrophy Canada. It raised more than $11 million last year, helping thousands of individuals and families. Safeway is also one the largest supporters of food banks and other hunger relief programs in North America and contributes product and monetary donations and conducts company-wide food drives to benefit food banks each year.
The company also supports disaster relief efforts and, on the day that it received the AFP award, announced that Safeway Foundation was giving $100,000 to the American Red Cross to support the Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster relief effort. Safeway employees launched their own donation effort with the Safeway Foundation matching those donations up to an additional $50,000. During the past decade the company mobilized its 180,000 employees with outstanding results to raise money for several major humanitarian outreach efforts, including the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, the 2004 South Asia tsunami disaster and the September 11th terrorist attacks. Those fundraising efforts raised more than $13 million combined for organizations that provide emergency relief including medical aid, food, shelter and relocation.
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc. operates 1,694 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $41.1 billion in 2010.