WASHINGTON, DC — December 8, 1998 — The Food Marketing Institute and the FMI Foundation announce gifts of $250,000 and $100,00 to the industry-wide capital campaign Safeguarding Our Last Link, a yearlong initiative to raise new funding for consumer education programs on safe food-handling practices.

A gift of $250,000 was given by Loblaw Companies Limited, Canada’s largest supermarket company and the first non-American company to join the campaign. Iowa-based Hy-Vee, Inc. pledged $100,000. Loblaw president and CEO Richard J. Currie and Hy-Vee president and CEO Ronald Pearson are Directors of FMI and Trustees of the FMI Foundation.

Hy-Vee’s gift of $100,000 marks the first six-figure gift from a regional grocery retailer. Hy-Vee, Inc. operates 230 stores in seven Midwestern states with annual sales of over $3 billion.
"We felt that this gift represents how we at Hy-Vee regard consumer food safety education - not only with our customers but with our associates," stated Hy-Vee president Ron Pearson at the time of his company’s pledge. "Our 35,000 associates we employ will also benefit from the objectives of this campaign."