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Safeway Raises Funds for Research and Treatment to Help People with Disabilities

Submitted by: Albertsons Companies

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Jul 31, 2007 – 05:23 PM EST


Annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Campaign Highlights the Needs of "Jerry's Kids"

Jul. 31 /CSRwire/ - PLEASANTON, CA. - July 31, 2007 - Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) today elevated its commitment to charities that help people with disabilities by launching a month-long fundraising campaign in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Stores throughout the United States will raise money for Jerry's Kids and draw attention to the ongoing need to support research of neuromuscular diseases. To date, Safeway - by collecting donations at checkstands, conducting individual store fundraising events, and through the longstanding Aisles of Smiles program - has raised more than $25 million to help MDA. The goal of this year's nationwide effort is to surpass the 2006 MDA campaign total of $4.7 million.

"Safeway, our employees and customers are proud to team up with MDA in our annual fundraising campaign to support groundbreaking research, provide life-sustaining treatment and afford continued hope in the quest to better understand neuromuscular diseases and help those who suffer from them," said Larree Renda, Safeway Executive Vice President and Chairwoman of The Safeway Foundation. "Our partnership has already provided more than $25 million to this important cause, helping make a difference in the lives of millions of people."

At the end of the campaign, Ms. Renda will present the funds raised, on behalf of Safeway's customers and employees, at the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon. Safeway employees from across the country will be participating in regional MDA telethon activities to bring attention to this important cause and the partnership of Safeway, its customers and employees in this annual campaign.

"Because of its passionate commitment to MDA, Safeway is a steadfast partner in the battle against deadly and debilitating neuromuscular diseases," MDA National Chairman Jerry Lewis said. "By delivering our message via its stores across the country, and encouraging customer contributions, Safeway has a significant impact on the lives of the 1 million Americans affected by these disorders."

Through some 225 hospital-affiliated clinics, MDA offers quality medical care from doctors, nurses and therapists experienced in dealing with neuromuscular diseases. MDA researchers have made several major advances in recent months, along with launching an historic $36 million, three-year effort to develop drugs to treat amyotrophic lateral (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease). An MDA-funded clinical trial of an oral drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy showed good early results, and final data is expected soon. Results of the first gene therapy trial for Duchenne are also expected this fall.

Twice yearly Safeway rallies its stores and communities to raise money and awareness for organizations that aid people with disabilities. The annual Easter Seals Fundraiser in April resulted in a $5.5 million contribution to help people with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. Safeway hopes to match that figure by raising $5.5 million for MDA during the August fundraising campaign.

Safeway's commitment to people with disabilities extends well beyond its philanthropy and into the corporate culture and daily business operations. The company employs nearly 10,000 workers with disabilities in stores throughout the United States and Canada through special job programs. Earlier this year, Safeway was honored by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) for its record of supporting the employment of people with disabilities. CSAVR praised Safeway for its leadership in hiring new employees with various physical, sensory and developmental disabilities and for its proactive work in the community in sponsoring events that promote hiring and accessible customer service for people with disabilities.

MDA is one of many important causes that Safeway supports. In 2006 Safeway and The Safeway Foundation gave nearly $154 million in food and financial support to education, hunger relief, medical research and other important causes. The Safeway Foundation supports hundreds of vital causes, including the Prostate Cancer Foundation and breast cancer awareness and research.

ABOUT SAFEWAY www.safeway.com

Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,740 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.2 billion in 2006. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and last year donated more than $154 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education, food banks and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.


MDA is a voluntary health organization working to defeat more than 40 neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services, and far-reaching professional and public health education.

For more information, please contact:

Teena Massingill
Phone: 925-467-3810


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