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Safeway gives $3 million in grants to fight childhood obesity

Partners with Children's Hospital Oakland in national effort

The Safeway Foundation announced this week that it has given a cumulative total of over $3 million to community health programs and hospitals to launch grass-roots projects for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

The "Innovative Approaches to Preventing Childhood Obesity" grants are a part of an overall outreach and commitment to community health sponsored by Pleasanton-based Safeway Inc., said Safeway spokesman Keith Turner.

The Safeway Foundation's partner in this effort is Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland. In early 2013, the partners invited organizations to apply for grants of up to $100,000 for grass-roots childhood obesity projects in the geographic areas served by Safeway, and its other corporate-owned stores, including Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Carrs and Dominick's.

Specifically, they looked to promote collaborations between the medical community and local community-based agencies to help children become more physically active, improve food choices and create better access to healthy foods.

Some of the more unique and ambitious programs in Northern California to receive funding include:

Children's Health Fund, San Francisco: Funds will aide a mobile medical clinic that provides comprehensive nutrition counseling and mental health services including individual and group sessions, fitness activities, supermarket education and food preparation demonstrations.

La Clinica de La Raza, Inc., Oakland: Funds will offer a multi-component program that incorporates health education sessions, medical and behavioral health assessments and access to ongoing services, and weekly physical activities; peer support and psychosocial coping focus.

Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Mountain View: Funds will allow expanded access to an online tool to lower income families and schools in three counties, assess current behavior, and provide an individually-tailored health report with guidance, tips and resources for achieving goals.

Other organizations that also received grants to fight childhood obesity were the Chinese Community Health Resource Center, San Francisco; Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, Martinez; North East Medical Services, San Francisco; and, UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

Safeway and The Safeway Foundation have a long history of supporting health and wellness programs throughout North America.

In addition to raising more than $180 million for breast cancer and prostate cancer research and treatment, Safeway and The Safeway Foundation have also raised $133 million for organizations that conduct neuromuscular disease research and provide medical services and outreach to people with disabilities.

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