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Portland, Ore., wins Safeway's 'America's Most Natural City' FB contest

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Monday named Portland, Ore., as the winner of its "America's Most Natural City" contest and will donate $20,000 and 25 picnic tables constructed from the Guinness World Record holder for the world's longest picnic table.

The contest was inspired by Safeway's commitment to 100% natural products with its new Open Nature line, the grocer stated.

"As with our Open Nature all-natural product line, we looked to our customers to define which cities they considered the most natural," stated Mike Minasi, president of marketing at Safeway. "We wanted to make a positive impact and give back to the parks and recreation organizations. Many of them provide everything from playgrounds to picnic spots, and it was clear that voters shared our passion for preservation of all things natural. We hope that our contest inspires others to give back to their communities in this time of reduced budgets."

Portland won the contest with 1,189 votes. Coming in second and third were Denver and Seattle, respectively, both of which had tremendous community support for the contest. In addition to the monetary donation, Portland will receive 25 picnic tables created from the Guinness World Record holder of the world's longest picnic table (at 305 ft) which debuted at a recent Safeway event in San Francisco.

"We applaud Safeway for their charitable giving. Portland Parks & Recreation welcomes the generous donation, which will go toward the city's E-205 Initiative to enhance nature trails and build park amenities, such as children's playgrounds in the East Portland area," stated Nick Fish, Portland parks commissioner. "These improvements will make a huge impact in historically underserved East Portland."

Launched on Aug. 30, "America's Most Natural City" contest encouraged Facebook users to vote for one of 15 preselected cities where Safeway and its family of stores have a significant presence in the community. Over the course of the contest, thousands of votes were cast for the cities of Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Tucson, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C.

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