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Kmart launches fundraising effort for children’s cancer research, offers reward points to donors

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Kmart has started a fundraising campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for childhood cancer, the mass merchandise retailer said.

Kmart announced the start of its 2013 St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, under which members of the Shop Your Way loyalty program who donate between now and Dec. 28 will receive a coupon for 5% of the price back in points that they can use toward their next purchase. The offer lasts through Jan. 31, 2014.

"Our holiday season at Kmart would not be the same without St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and we’re happy to recognize the generosity of our Shop Your Way members this year," Kmart VP retail services Clay Wahl said. "We’re always humbled by the outpouring of support from our members and associates and hope to raise even more money this year to help more families have a healthy and happy holiday."


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Alliance Boots creates specialized investment fund focusing on small- to mid-sized consumer brands

BY Michael Johnsen

BERN, Switzerland — Alliance Boots on Friday announced that it is establishing a specialized investment fund, B&B Capital Partners, which will be focused on small- and medium-sized consumer brand businesses within the health, wellness, beauty and personal care sectors.  

The fund will be managed by B&B Investment Partners, a new partnership between Alliance Boots and the two principals of B&B Investment Partners, Chris Britton and Jean-Philippe Barade.

“The new fund will provide talented entrepreneurs with financial, strategic and specialist commercial support to help them unlock the growth potential of their businesses, while further accelerating the flow of innovative products into our international retail network," stated Stefano Pessina, executive chairman, Alliance Boots. 


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Study: Americans struggle to afford basic personal care items, household goods

BY Jason Owen

CHICAGO — Feeding America, a hunger-relief organization, along with long-standing donor partner Procter and Gamble, revealed results of a new study showing many families with children struggle to afford basic, non-food household goods, including products related to personal care, household care and baby care.

The results come just as the United States Department of Agriculture reports that 49 million people in the United States, including nearly 16 million children, live at risk of hunger. However, until now, there has been a lack of information about the struggle to obtain other essential household goods.

The nationally representative survey conducted for this study found that one-in-three (34%) low-income families found it difficult to afford basic household necessities in the past year. Of these families, 82% live in households with low or very low food security, meaning that they cannot afford enough food for their household members. Additionally, nearly three-in-four (73%) low-income families have cut back on food in the past year in order to afford household goods. Of these, one-in-four (24%) report doing so each month.

According to the report, titled "In Short Supply: American Families Struggle to Secure Everyday Essentials," in order to make ends meet, families utilize a variety of coping strategies when they are unable to afford personal care and household care items. These include using less, substituting, borrowing and doing without. Some of these strategies, like altering eating habits to afford non-food items or delaying hygiene habits, raise concerns about potential risks to the health and well-being of many families with children.

"During Hunger Action Month in September, we are reminded that one-in-six Americans struggles with hunger, but we often don’t think about the additional hardship and emotional toll placed on these families who are unable to afford personal hygiene and basic household items," said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. "The lack of everyday essentials, such as toilet paper, toothpaste, soap or disposable diapers, may compromise the health and well-being of our at-risk neighbors, especially those who face food insecurity. The difficulty within American households to afford these necessities underscores the need for institutions to work together in an effort to help low-income families address their basic needs."

"This study demonstrates the importance American families place on personal and household care items in their lives," said Brian Sasson, manager of social investments at Procter & Gamble. "Over the past 30 years we have been proud to contribute funds and donate P&G products to the Feeding America network of food banks to help ease the burden for some of these families in need."

To read more about "In Short Supply: American Families Struggle to Secure Everyday Essentials," including methodology, click here.


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