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Whole Foods launches charity to help kids get healthy food

BY DSN STAFF

AUSTIN — Whole Foods Market announced that it has launched the Whole Kids Foundation, a charitable organization that will provide children with access to healthy food choices through partnerships with schools, educators and organizations.

According to Whole Foods. Whole Kids’ first initiative will be the Whole Kids Garden Grant Project, a program that will enable schools to help build children’s relationships with food through the power of gardening. All schools and garden-related nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply this fall for grants to support the implementation or expansion of on-campus teaching gardens.

"We are excited to formalize our commitment to improving childhood nutrition and wellness through our new foundation," said Walter Robb, Whole Foods Market co-CEO and Whole Kids Foundation board chairman. "By collaborating with schools and parents, we believe we can increase fruit and vegetable consumption both at schools and at home, and [can] make a significant contribution in the fight against childhood obesity."

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United Natural Foods inks deal with Safeway

BY Allison Cerra

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A food distributor has penned a three-year agreement with a supermarket chain to provide customers with nonproprietary natural, organic and specialty products.

United Natural Foods said it will assume distribution to all of Safeway’s banners, effective this October. The company said it is expecting a brief transition period from Safeway’s current distributors.

"We are pleased to establish a distribution relationship with Safeway and are excited about the opportunities this agreement provides," United Natural Foods SVP national distribution Sean Griffin said. "Our ability to continue to gain market share reflects the ongoing efforts by all of our associates to service our customers’ needs, and further strengthens our position as the nation’s leading distributor of natural, organic and specialty products. We are in the process of finalizing a transition plan with Safeway in order to provide them with excellent service levels and support, while ensuring there are no disruptions to any of our existing customers."

Commenting on the agreement, Safeway’s merchandising president Kelly Griffith said the retailer is looking forward to the new partnership, which will "provide the variety of specialty, natural, organic and regionally relevant products that will meet our customers’ needs."

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Bottom Dollar Food making its way to greater Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Ohio, markets

BY Allison Cerra

SALISBURY, N.C. — Discount grocery chain Bottom Dollar Food announced plans to enter the greater Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, markets.

The expansion includes 14 stores that will open in 2012 and is said to create more than 600 jobs.

The banner, which is owned by Delhaize America, has grown to 47 stores in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In addition to its expansion in Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, Bottom Dollar Food also remains focused on expanding in the greater Philadelphia market, which currently encompasses 17 stores in the state of Pennsylvania and two stores in New Jersey.

"We look forward to serving the greater Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, communities by providing consumers with unbelievably low prices on groceries," said Bottom Dollar Food president Meg Ham. "Customers will find Bottom Dollar Food unique because we carry private brands and the national brands that matter most, and offer a meaningful, efficient assortment of fresh produce, meat and other products. Additionally, we provide our customers an energetic and lighthearted shopping experience."

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