WASHINGTON, DC — May 8, 2006 — Honoring quality and distinction in supermarket community initiatives, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) awarded the 2006 Neighborhood Partnership Awards to six companies: Auto Mercado S.A., San Jose, Costa Rica; Giant Eagle, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA; Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, CA; Spartan Stores, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI; Sunset Food Mart, Inc., Highland Park, IL; and Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Jacksonville, FL.

Now in its tenth year, the awards program recognizes companies that contribute significantly to the neighborhoods they serve in the areas of health and wellness, hunger relief, youth development and urban economic development.

The award recipients will be recognized on May 8 during the 2006 FMI Show in Chicago, IL. The recipients and their programs include:

Auto Mercado’s "Community Outreach" raised funds for several different causes: $56,000 relieved a Caribbean village devastated by a flood; $50,000 helped build a new school in a low-income area; $26,000 backed a campaign for a geriatric hospital; and $21,000 bought new equipment to treat children with cancer.

Giant Eagle brought technology to the classroom through its annual program, "Apples for the Students." When customers made purchases, local schools earned points redeemable for computer equipment, software and other learning tools. Giant Eagle has donated more than $24 million in computer systems since the program was launched in 1988.

Safeway Inc. raised nearly $30 million in the past five years to increase awareness about breast and prostate cancer, supporting free mammograms, breast cancer screenings, low-cost prostate cancer kits, support groups, cancer education and prevention programs. Safeway is one of the nation’s largest corporate donors to cancer research and treatment.

Spartan Stores, Inc., relieved hunger with "Food for Families." With the slogan "Hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation," the program delivered nonperishable items to area food banks in the summer, a time of year when donations tend to decline. Spartan and a local television station team up annually for an eight-day campaign that has yielded more than a million pounds of food providing 800,000 meals since the program began in 2001.

Sunset Food Mart, Inc., partnered with the Boy Scouts of the Northeast Illinois Council three years ago in a mission to defeat hunger in more than 50 communities and engage children in community service opportunities. The annual program, "Scouting for Food," has motivated more than 10,000 youth members, parent volunteers, customers and employees to gather over 110,000 pounds of food for local food pantries. Volunteers go door to door asking for nonperishable items, and customers make food donations in collection barrels. The program takes place in February and March after food from holiday drives begins to dwindle.

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., conceived "Take It to Heart" to educate women about cardiovascular disease. The program included a news spot about healthy grocery shopping, public service announcements and informational brochures. One of the program’s most significant achievements was providing more than 4,000 people with diagnostic health screenings. The program found that 30 percent had considerable risk factors that required further testing; a few were identified as bypass-surgery candidates; others were diagnosed with diseases or needed to change medications. The Jacksonville, FL, program was so successful that another "Take It to Heart" program was established in Montgomery, AL.

The 2006 Neighborhood Partnership Awards program is sponsored by FMI and the Kellogg Company. Now in its 10th year, the awards program recognizes FMI member companies that demonstrate a positive impact on their communities in the areas of health and wellness, hunger relief, urban economic development and youth development. A panel of independent judges made award selections based on corporate participation, community need, reach and length of program, amount of contribution to the community and originality.

For more information about the program, contact Nadine Bartholomew at (202) 220-0664 or nbartholomew@fmi.org.