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Food Lion snaps up Kroger store in Raleigh, N.C.

BY Antoinette Alexander

Food Lion announced on Wednesday that it is broadening its footprint in Raleigh, N.C., with the acquisition of a Kroger store.

Food Lion will complete an extensive remodel of the store, and expects it to open in early 2019. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are so excited to add this new location to our network of more than 160 stores serving the Raleigh area,” said Meg Ham, Food Lion president. “We’ve been the neighborhood friend that our customers can count on for more than 40 years in Raleigh. With the addition of this new store, we have an even greater opportunity to serve more customers – our neighbors – with fresh, quality products at affordable prices every day with the caring, friendly service they expect from their local Food Lion.”

Food Lion also will extend its commitment to supporting the Raleigh community through its hunger relief philanthropic platform, Food Lion Feeds. As part of the announcement, Food Lion is donating 30,000 meals to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina to help local families in need. Food Lion will also ensure the new store is assigned a feeding agency partner to receive weekly food donations through the company’s food rescue program.

Through Food Lion Feeds, the company has made a commitment to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020. Since the launch of Food Lion Feeds in 2014, Food Lion has already donated more than 380 million meals through in-store campaigns, in-store food rescue programs and associate volunteerism.

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Weis Markets’ Paws for Pets program sets record

BY Antoinette Alexander

Weis Markets raised $385,000 for more than 150 local animal shelters and pet rescue organization during its 10th annual Paws for Pets initiative, marking a 21 percent increase compared with 2017, the retailer announced on Tuesday.

During the four-week program, which ran from April 26 to May 23, customers purchased vouchers for $1, $3 or $5, with all proceeds donated to pet shelters and rescue organizations selected at the local level. Weis Markets customers also donated various pet-related products including dog, cat, puppy and kitten food; cat litter; collars; harnesses and leashes; and related products. Weis also partnered with local shelters to host nearly 30 pet adoption events and pet photo shoots at local stores.

“Our Paws for Pets program has had another record year thanks to the hard work of our store associates, and the generosity of our customers,” said Ron Bonacci, Weis Markets vice president of advertising and marketing. “They’ve helped us generate record donations in 2018 and nearly $2 million in contributions and product donations since 2008. These donations will help more than 150 animal shelters and rescue organization throughout our market area.”

Weis Markets’ Newton, N.J., store once again took the lead, raising $11,868 for One Step Closer Animal Rescue in Andover, N.J., while its Clarks Summit, Pa., store raised $8,995 for Griffin Pond Animal Shelter in South Abington Township. The company’s stores in the Poconos and Northern New Jersey raised $80,881.

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Walgreens to provide HIV testing in more than 180 cities for National HIV Testing Day

BY Antoinette Alexander

Walgreens has announced that it is working with Greater Than AIDS, a national public information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, and 220 health departments, AIDS service organizations, and other community organizations to help provide free HIV testing and information at participating Walgreens stores in more than 180 cities on National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS are helping the participating testing partners to expand the free HIV testing to even more locations this year with a focus on heavily affected communities. Since 2011, more than 40,000 HIV tests have been conducted as part of the activation. BioLytical Laboratories and OraSure Technologies, Inc. are donating test kits and Abbott Rapid Diagnostics is providing support for outreach.

Local agencies will be at participating Walgreens stores to provide free, confidential, and fast test results on site, without the need to schedule an appointment. Counselors will be on hand to answer questions about HIV prevention and treatment options, including PrEP, a medication that offers another effective means of protection for those testing negative for HIV.

“Walgreens has supported people living with HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic more than 30 years ago,” said Glen Pietrandoni, senior director, patient care and advocacy, at Walgreens. “Early testing can mean access to effective treatment and the opportunity to go on to live a healthy normal lifespan. In addition, with proper adherence to medication, successfully treated patients cannot easily transmit the virus to others. As we continue to work towards an end to HIV/AIDS, it is crucial that testing and trusted resources on treatment are made more widely available within communities.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends HIV testing as part of routine health care. An estimated 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV and approximately 1-in-7 are unaware of their status.

“There are more options than ever to prevent and treat HIV,” said Tina Hoff, senior vice president and director, health communications and media partnerships at the Kaiser Family Foundation, which leads Greater Than AIDS. “The first step is knowing your status. This collaboration normalizes HIV testing as part of everyday life, while helping to educate about these advances.”

The community partnership is part of an ongoing commitment by Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS to broaden the reach of HIV testing and information in non-traditional settings and to support the outreach of local organizations. Year round, HIV-trained pharmacy staff are available at more than 1,000 Walgreens locations nationwide, including communities with high HIV prevalence, offering one-on-one, confidential medication counseling to support treatment adherence, and assisting with other care needs, such as identifying financial assistance options.

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