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Safeway asks donors to support children’s fitness, nutrition programs

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway on Thursday announced a change to its eScrip fundraising program by asking schools and groups to allocate 20% of the more than $20 million in annual Safeway donations to fitness and nutrition activities.

“With fitness and nutrition programs being reduced or even eliminated in school districts across the country, Safeway recognizes the critical importance of helping to find and fund solutions,” stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and president of Safeway Health. “The need for businesses to partner with their local schools is even more imperative today as our nation deals with the epidemic of childhood obesity and how the problem impacts the daily lives of students.”

Safeway’s successful eScrip program allows customers to earn money for the school of their choice by shopping with their Safeway Club Card. Beginning in August, Safeway has been encouraging its school partners to dedicate 20% of their Safeway donations to programs that focus on physical activity and good nutrition. Schools can allocate their funds to a broad range of programs and expenditures, including fitness activities, sports equipment, nutrition or health education and healthy food options on the school lunch menu.

“Our goals are to assist schools in bringing fitness and nutrition to the forefront, reverse the trend of childhood obesity and ensure that children have the important building blocks of good health — exercise and nutritious food,” Renda said.

In addition to the fitness and nutrition change to the eScrip program, Safeway is offering an even greater incentive for school groups to participate and earn donations. The Top 5 schools in each Safeway eScrip market (40 total) that report monthly and dedicate the highest percentage of their funds to fitness and nutrition programs will be eligible for a $1,000 bonus. The $40,000 in bonus checks will be handed out July 2011.

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Season six of the ‘The Office’ heads to Blu-ray, DVD

BY Allison Cerra

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. The sixth season of documentary-style comedy “The Office” now is available on Blu-ray and DVD.

As part of this groundbreaking set, the Blu-ray release of season six of “The Office” will allow fans to access content like never before via BD-Live. Through their Internet-connected Blu-ray player using BD-Live, purchasers now will have an opportunity to watch the latest five episodes from the seventh season after they air on their home televisions. Season seven episodes will be available in HD, pending individual Internet connection speeds.

This season of “The Office” focuses on the evolving lives of Dunder Mifflin’s hilariously irreverent employees, including Jim and Pam’s wedding and the birth of their daughter, Michael’s affair with a married woman and the acquisition of Dunder Mifflin by Sabre, a printer manufacturer.

The Blu-ray and DVD both are available on Sept. 7 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

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Dollar General looks to sell beer, wine in select markets

BY Michael Johnsen

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. Dollar General on Wednesday confirmed the company is test-marketing the sale of beer — and wine, where allowed — in select stores throughout the Southeast.

According to published reports, those initial test markets include Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Over time, Dollar General expects to offer beer and/or wine in about half of its 9,000 stores nationwide, the company stated.

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