TSUNAMI RELIEF WATCH: Publix Super Markets, Albertsons, Giant Eagle

LAKELAND, Fla. - Publix Super Markets here has established the Tsunami Relief Fund to provide its customers and associates a way to help those areas affected by the recent tsunami disaster. Customers may donate any amount they choose by adding it to their grocery totals when checking out at Publix registers. The program began on Jan. 6 and will continue for a few weeks, based on customer response, Publix said.

All of the money collected will be channeled through United Way International and their affiliated agencies such as the American Red Cross.

Publix spokeswoman Maria Rodamis said, "This was a devastating event, and the road to recovery will be long. Many of our customers and associates want to help those affected, so we've established this fund with United Way International."

In a separate donation to United Way International, Publix Super Markets Charities gave $250,000 to relief efforts.

BOISE, Idaho - Albertsons, Inc. has partnered with the American Red Cross to support disaster relief efforts for those affected by the tsunami in Southern Asia and Eastern Africa. Leveraging Albertsons' network of over 2,500 stores, the company's fundraising campaign provides customers a convenient way to donate to the American Red Cross International Response Fund.

Additionally, the company said that a corporate contribution will be made to the tsunami relief fund of up to $500,000 by matching the contributions of Albertsons’ 230,000 associates.

"Millions of our fellow human beings have been deeply affected by this horrendous tragedy," said Albertsons chairman, c.e.o., and president Larry Johnston in a statement. "By matching our associates' contributions and setting up each of our 2,500 stores as official American Red Cross cash donation sites for our customers, Albertsons has made it easier for the American public to support the victims of the tsunami. I am confident that our customers and associates will willingly and generously support this effort."

The in-store fundraising program launched Dec. 31 and will run for at least four weeks. Albertsons customers can make donations to the American Red Cross International Response Fund at the checkstands in any Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw's, Star Market, Bristol Farms, Super Saver, Osco Drug or Sav-on Drug stores.

"After this awful tragedy, the American public is looking for ways in which they can help provide relief to the tsunami victims' suffering," said Skip Seitz, s.v.p. growth and integrated development of the American Red Cross. "We are grateful that corporate partners like Albertsons have demonstrated a willingness to help Americans help their global neighbors through the Red Cross humanitarian mission."

PITTSBURGH - Giant Eagle, Inc. said yesterday it will accept customer donations to the Red Cross International Relief Fund throughout the month of January on behalf of the American Red Cross efforts to aid those affected by the Asian tsunami. Additionally, Giant Eagle will make a $25,000 donation to the effort.

Beginning Sunday, Jan. 9, about 260 Giant Eagle supermarkets and GetGo convenience stores throughout Western Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio will collect contributions at checkouts. Donations can be made in either $2 or $5 increments.

Giant Eagle v.p. of marketing Kevin Srigley noted in a statement, "At Giant Eagle we realize that every donation will help in aiding the victims of this tragedy, and we are pleased to support the relief effort here in our local communities."
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