Safeway Foundation gives $2 million to community health programs, hospitals

PLEASANTON, Calif. — The Safeway Foundation on Monday announced it is giving $2 million to community health programs and hospitals to launch grassroots projects for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

The "Innovative Approaches to Preventing Childhood Obesity" grants are a part of an overall outreach and commitment to community health.

"Our commitment is to strengthen communities, create pioneering programs, expand services and implement new strategies to support the health of children and teens," stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chairwoman of the Safeway Foundation. "These funds will allow doctors, researchers and others in the medical and healthcare communities to launch effective new programs and evaluate the effectiveness of existing ones with the goal of helping children live happier, healthier lives."

The Safeway Foundation's partner in this effort is Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland in northern California. In early 2012, the partners invited organizations to apply for grants of up to $100,000 for grassroots childhood obesity projects in the geographic areas served by Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Carrs and Dominick's stores. Specifically, they looked to promote collaborations between the medical community and local community-based agencies to help children become more physically active, improve food choices and create better access to healthy foods. More than 150 organizations applied for funding.