The Safeway Foundation Awards $50,000 to Farmer Veteran Coalition

The Safeway Foundation Awards $50,000 to Farmer Veteran Coalition

DAVIS, CA (April 4, 2017) – The Safeway Foundation announced that its Veterans campaign, an in-store fundraising effort aimed to improve the lives of Veterans and their families, awarded more than a half million dollars to fund Veterans programs in the neighborhoods throughout Northern California. The gift to Farmer Veteran Coalition will fund two Food and Farming Career Fairs as well as internships or scholarships to learn organic farming at Jacobs Farm in San Jose, California.

“We are delighted to have a partner like the Safeway Foundation and appreciate their leadership,” said FVC Executive Director Michael O’Gorman. “The Food and Farming Career Fairs will expose veterans in California to the wide range of high-paying opportunities in the state. There is a shortage at all levels and our veterans deserve a chance to continue to serve by feeding their neighbors,” O’Gorman continued. “The work we do in San Jose provides veterans with practical experience in organics. In the first year of the internship program, all seven of the interns have found full-time employment in agriculture.”

The funds were raised through an in-store fundraiser last November at Safeway stores throughout Northern California, Northern Nevada and Hawaii. The week-long fundraiser generated donations from customers and employees at the check stands. The funding is focused to support programs that assist Veterans as they gain access to civilian employment, provide access to health care and support groups for Veterans and their families, and support the families of fallen Veterans.

“We take great pride in supporting Veterans in the communities we serve and working with organizations that assist Veterans. We believe that their sacrifice and service should be honored and we aim to ease the transition back into civilian life,” said Wendy Gutshall, The Safeway Foundation. “We are grateful for the generous contributions during the Veterans fundraiser and the opportunity to help Veterans.”

Regional charities located in areas where Safeway operates were invited to respond to Requests for Proposals. Farmer Veteran Coalition was awarded $50,000 for Food and Farming Career Fairs and Veteran Farming Internships. The Internships or scholarships are awarded to veterans to learn organic farming on Jacobs Farm in San Jose. During a four-month internship, veterans learn everything about farming: soil choice/preparation and seed selection, water resource needs, row/crop management, tool requirements and care, planting optimization, cultivation/pruning, harvesting, storage, packaging, marketing and sales.

There will be two Food and Farming Career Fairs in California in 2017 thanks to this grant. The first will be on the campus of Fresno State University on Wednesday, April 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The second will be held in Northern California in the fall.

More information about the Safeway Foundation and the causes the foundation supports is available at www.safewayfoundation.org

About the Safeway Foundation
Founded in 2001, the Safeway Foundation supports causes that impact our customers’ lives. Safeway stores provide the opportunity to mobilize funding and create awareness in our neighborhoods through the generous contributions by our customers, our employees’ passion and partnerships with our vendors. We focus on giving locally in the areas of Health and Human Services, Hunger, Youth and Education, Veterans and Supporting Diversity and Inclusion of All Abilities. For more information about the Safeway Foundation, visit www.safewayfoundation.org. The Safeway Foundation is a part of the national Albertsons Companies Foundation.

For more information about the Food and Farming Career Fairs, contact Randy Ryan at randy@farmvetco.org or call (530) 379-2292.

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