PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway here has unveiled its company-sponsored mobile mammography van, as well as a record in funds raised to fight prostate cancer.
The retailer donated $1 million to cover the cost of the van and its first two years of operation with proceeds from last October's breast cancer fund-raising campaign, company spokeswoman Teena Massingill told SN.
The mobile screening vehicle, a 40-foot, self-contained clinic, will use digital screening technology recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to detect breast cancer more effectively than the traditional mammography screening, Safeway said. It will be operated by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in partnership with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle.
“With the funds that we raise, we assist teaching hospitals, research projects and fund projects like this one that provide a service to patients who are underserved,” Massingill said.
Over the last six years the company has raised $25 million for breast cancer programs nationally.
Money for the van, which will travel Washington state, was raised in October when checkers at Safeway stores asked customers if they would like to add a donation to their grocery bill. The retailer advertised October as Breast Cancer Awareness month through signage and circulars.
Much the same technique was used in June to raise a company record of $10.7 million to fund research programs focused on finding a cure for prostate cancer.
Nearly all of the funds raised by Safeway were the result of asking customers to add small contributions to their grocery bill.
Each year the company partners with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Santa Monica, Calif., to support a broad range of cancer research projects. “What began as a modest effort to raise awareness and assist the PCF with some of their research funding has become a core company initiative,” said Steve Burd, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Safeway.