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Press release from PR Newswire

Safeway Honors Veterans and Launches "Wounded Warrior Project" Fundraising Campaign

Friday, November 11, 2011

Safeway Honors Veterans and Launches "Wounded Warrior Project" Fundraising Campaign20:16 EST Friday, November 11, 2011Weekend events include tributes to American military and inspirational stories from those who fought in Iraq and AfghanistanPLEASANTON, Calif., Nov. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) today announced it will dedicate the upcoming Veterans Day weekend to pay tribute to past and present service members and raise money for an organization that provides programs and outreach to those who were severely injured while serving their country.Beginning Veterans Day, November 11, through Sunday November 13, 2011 all U.S. Safeway stores will raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that exists to honor and empower "wounded warriors" who incurred service-related injuries on or after September 11, 2001. The Project offers a variety of programs and services including rehabilitation, stress counseling, career retraining and social outlets.  Customers can donate at checkstands at Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Dominick's, Randalls, Genuardi's, Tom Thumb and Carrs stores."We are proud to recognize the enormous sacrifice made by veterans, especially those who are injured while defending the freedoms we hold dear," said Larree Renda, Safeway Executive Vice President and Chair of The Safeway Foundation. "With this weekend's activities, we are honored to assist the Wounded Warrior Project and the work they are doing for those veterans of the post-September 11 conflicts."While the fundraising campaign is this weekend, the company's recognition of veterans and active service members began last Sunday when Safeway's Tom Thumb stores in Texas joined with NASCAR Spring Cup series driver Bobby Labonte to present a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project at the Texas Motor Speedway. This week Labonte will bring his #47 car, which is currently sporting the Wounded Warrior Project logo, to a Safeway store in Phoenix, Arizona. He will be joined by veteran and Wounded Warrior representative Brandon Rollins, who will talk with customers about the vital services their donations will fund. Safeway will hold numerous other in-store events to show support for veterans. For example, in Dublin, Calif., California Congressman Jerry McNerney and other local elected officials and community leaders will help Safeway customers assemble care packages for Operation SAM (Supporting All Military), an organization that collects, packs and ships "comfort items" to active duty personnel overseas. The customers and Safeway employee volunteers will also write letters of support that will be included with the care packages. That same day at Safeway's nearby corporate headquarters, employee volunteers will also assemble care packages and write letters. In Southern California, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will join Army Airborne Ranger Aron Hijar, other military veterans and local news anchors, at a Studio City Vons store for a grocery "Bagging Boot Camp" competition. The Mayor will be teamed with Hijar, whose platoon was featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Restrepo." In Boulder, Colorado, three Safeway store managers, who are also retired military officers will be joined by a Wounded Warrior Project ambassador as they are presented with the Game Day Ball at the University of Colorado's Folsom Field before 55,000 fans this Saturday in celebration of Veteran's Day Weekend.  Safeway stores throughout Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alaska will host celebrations to honor employees who are military veterans and reservists, while saluting customers who have served as well. On Friday the company's new Bothell, Washington store will celebrate its official grand opening and host a community-wide Veterans Day celebration.  This week's activities are just part of Safeway's outreach and commitment to people in the U.S. military. The company instituted a special career training and leadership program to prepare veterans for jobs in store management.  The program recently gained Safeway recognition at a Pentagon ceremony naming the company an "Outstanding Employer" by the U.S. Navy. For its employees serving in the military reserve, Safeway covers the pay differential and extends full benefits for those who are called to active service. The Safeway Foundation also provided seed funding to the Center for Veteran's Advancement, a program of the Public Counsel Law Center, that assists veterans with a range of legal services and helps them secure the benefits they are entitled to.About Safeway www.Safeway.comSafeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,694 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $41.1 billion in 2010. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. About Wounded Warrior ProjectThe mission of Wounded Warrior Project? (WWP) is to honor and empower wounded warriors. The purpose of WWP is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members; to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit Massingill, 925-467-3810Teena.Massingill@Safeway.comSOURCE Safeway Inc.