Safeway has discontinued its association with a fundraising organization that provides donations to school, including the Pleasanton Unified School District.
Safeway, which was acquired earlier this year by Boise-based Albertson, announced this week it will stop working with San Mateo-based eScrip, which it has aligned with for 16 years.
" After careful review, we concluded the model wasn't the best fit for our company going forward. The decision was driven by our desire to more effectively serve the communities where we operate stores," spokesman Keith Turner said. "We believe that local decisions should be considered at the local level. This change is designed to give our divisions the freedom to make the best choices for our customers and the communities we serve."
The Pleasanton-based grocery chain announced in February it had contributed more than $300 million to schools through eScrip since 1999.
Pleasanton Unified spokeswoman Nicole Steward said the district's PTA leaders are the ones who work with eScrip to receive the donation.
Katie Brunner, president of the Pleasanton PTA Council, said the district received between $2,600 and $10,000 last school year from eScrip. The estimate is wide because each school's PTA provided her with a fundraising estimate range.
Richard Sutch, eScrip spokesman, said the company will continue to provide schools with funding through other stores, such as Planet Organics, Angels Food Market and Cal Mart Supermarket.
"We at eScrip remain committed to providing funding sources to schools and other non-profits through our online shopping portal as well as local restaurants and dining establishments. We are also in conversation with grocers representing the Pleasanton area who wish to give to the local schools, and are excited about the prospects," he said.
He said details as to how much funding has been provided to Pleasanton Unified is proprietary information.
While Safeway won't be giving school districts regular funding through eScrip, it will provide quarterly donations to school districts, Turner said. The amount Pleasanton Unified will receive hasn't been determined, and the company hasn't decided yet whether it will align with a different donation service.
"We want to make sure schools are not adversely affected by this change and so we are offering funds to help the schools. We recognize that many of our schools have already set their budgets for the 2015-2016 school year and many of the organizations will continue to receive funding in quarterly disbursements," he said.
Starting in July 2016, the grocery company will accept grant requests from schools through the Safeway Foundation. Applications can be found at safewayfoundation.org.