Stop & Shop Holds First of Local Food Summits for Consumers

To help customers save money on food but still eat well, Stop & Shop yesterday held the first of three Affordable Food Summits at Stop & Shop stores in the New York metro area. Yesterday's event was held in the Long Island town of Woodbury, N.Y. and moderated by state Assemb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove).

Also in attendance were economist Thomas Conoscenti and Randi Dresner, executive director of Island Harvest, a Long Island food bank. The featured speaker was Louise Spangle, a registered dietitian with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County, who noted that menu planning and better food storage organization could help shoppers get more bang for their food buck.

"There are ways to beat the high cost of food, and Stop & Shop wants to help," the Ahold USA banner informed customers in company fliers publicizing the events. "Join us…and get the answers."

The other summits will be held July 15 in East Northport, N.Y. and July 22 in Madison, N.J. State sen. John Flanagan (R-C-I-East Northport) will moderate the East Northport event, which will be attended by Zahrine Bajwa from the Suffolk County Office of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Conoscenti, Dresner, and Stop & Shop consumer advisor Andrea Astrachan. State sen. Tom Kean (R) will chair the Madison event, which will be attended by Brian Schilling, associate director at Rutgers Food Policy Institute; Kathleen DiChiara, executive director of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey; and Judy Grignon, director of Farmers Against Hunger.

Among the summit's aims are "dialogue, discussion, ideas, suggestions, and, to some extent, solutions," Flanagan told Long Island newspaper Newsday.
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