Raley’s Supermarkets said it plans to give away 10 grants totaling $30,000 for the best ideas to improve communities and make the planet a healthier place.


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The program — called “Healthy planet, healthy you” — was launched in commemoration of Earth Day. It will award grants from Raley’s Reach to the top 10 ideas that receive the most votes, with the top vote-getter receiving a $10,000 grant; the next two ideas getting grants of $5,000 each; the fourth- and fifth-place qualifiers receiving grants of $2,500 each; and five additional grants of $1,000 each.

Organizations can submit ideas through May 2, with ideas being posted for online voting May 5; voting is scheduled to end May 16, with winners announced sometime later, the company said.

“Raley’s has a long history of working to improve the environment in the communities where we do business. Given that commitment, we wanted to focus our Raley’s Reach program to help put 10 earth-friendly ideas into action,” said Jennifer Teel-Wolter, community relations manager for the West Sacramento, Calif.-based chain.

Raley’s said its environmental efforts including the following:

• Recycling more than 680 tons of store waste— aluminum, glass, plastic containers, cardboard, plastic shopping bags and expired food products — rather than dumping it into landfills.

• Making expired produce and other edibles available to local farmers as a food source for livestock.

• Installing a solar plant on top of the chain’s 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Sacramento to provide nearly 20% of the facility’s energy and supplemental power.

• Upgrading store refrigeration systems to be more energy-efficient and installing “night blankets” on refrigeration units to limit energy loss during evening hours.

• Using natural lighting from skylights in stores to reduce energy consumption; and installing more efficient light bulbs that use motion sensors to turn off lights automatically to reduce energy costs.

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