PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway picked up the top honor in the Produce for Better Health Foundation's annual recognition program honoring companies that go to extraordinary lengths to support and raise awareness of the 5 A Day program.
PBH recognized Safeway with the Diamond Crystal Award, the highest honor in the 5 A Day National Excellence Awards for 2001. The organization cited the retailer's chainwide produce promotion, dubbed "Eat Like a Champion," that involved local schoolchildren and featured top players of the U.S. and Canadian soccer teams acting as spokesmen and women.
Each store "adopted" a local elementary school, and invited students to tour the produce departments, officials said, in describing the promotion. The schools received educational materials, developed by the 5 A Day program in the United States, and the 5 to 10 A Day program in Canada, on the nutritional benefits of healthy eating and staying physically fit. "Safeway did a bang-up job," said Lori Baer, manager of public relations and production for PBH, Wilmington, Del., noting it was the first time the retailer received an award in the foundation's contest.
"We are so proud to receive such honors as part of the National 5 A Day Excellence Awards," Harris said. "In the midst of all the high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods that overwhelm our kids, it is great to educate children and adults with the Eat Like a Champion promotion and 5 A Day."
Other companies that were honored in the foundation's Community/Employee Education & Participation category include:
Bi-Lo, Mauldin, S.C. The retailer was credited for conducting a health fair for associates, store tours for school groups, billboard campaigns and providing 5 A Day consumer education.
Supervalu, Eden Prairie, Minn. The company was recognized for its corporate office 5 A Day activities, 5 A Day promotion efforts in stores and through school visits, and participation in community health fairs.
Ready Pac Produce, Irwindale, Calif. The fresh-cut produce company was honored for taking part in 5 A Day Across the USA with its "Get Fit in LA with 5 A Day" promotion, and supporting employee education efforts.
"We are proud of the outstanding efforts put forth on behalf of Safeway and all 5 A Day National Excellence Award winners, and are pleased about the 5 A Day awareness generated from their efforts and the efforts of all award entrants," said Barbara Berry, PBH vice president of programs.
In total, PBH gave 5 A Day National Excellence Awards to 10 companies and three individuals to recognize their efforts in corporate involvement, employee achievement and employee educational awareness.