Safeway Inc. of Pleasanton has launched its "Help Us End Hunger" food drive in an effort to help people who rely on the assistance of food banks.
The company is joining with customers, Kraft Foods Group, local food banks and other partners to collect food donations at Safeway stores through Christmas.
To make the donation process easier, a specially-produced Every Bag Counts shopping bag filled with the items food banks need the most will be available for $10 at all Safeway stores. The bag includes Chicken of the Sea Chunk White Tuna, Skippy Peanut Butter, Pantry Essentials Pasta, Hunts Pasta Sauce and Del Monte Canned Vegetables.
Kraft is providing a special holiday gift in the form of a $1,500 grant to 100 food banks across the country, making for a total donation of $150,000.
Teena Massingill of Safeway said the annual Every Bag Counts program is increasingly important as the problem of hunger in America becomes more visible and pronounced. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 15% of families are food insecure, meaning they lack access to enough food for a healthy diet, she said.
In addition, the campaign helps the food banks during a time when the demand for food assistance is greatest, the holiday season.
Safeway has been a long-time supporter of hunger relief efforts, donating $119 million in food to the cause in 2012, alone, Massingill said.