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|SUPERVALU(R) to Celebrate Black History Month with Essay Contest, Donations|
"Coming on the heels of an historic inauguration, Black History Month gives us an opportunity to celebrate the culture and achievements of African-Americans, as well as their contributions to our country's rich history," said Lauri Sanders, president, SUPERVALU Foundation and director, community relations. "At SUPERVALU, we are proud to support African-American community organizations and suppliers in the communities we serve not only during Black History Month, but throughout the year. Our commitment to building a culture of diversity is a key component of our business strategy and vital to our ability to serve our customers and employees better than anyone else."
"We are honored to partner with SUPERVALU to create a program that celebrates the unique contributions of African-Americans while encouraging them to be future history makers. We salute SUPERVALU's commitment to building a culture of diversity," said Tony Ferlauto, vice president, Total Beverage Team, Coca-Cola North America.
This year, donations made on behalf of SUPERVALU to non-profits serving African-American communities will target organizations that are focused on either health and nutrition or on youth education. Among the organizations receiving grants are the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis; the Philadelphia Police Athletic League; the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago; and the Las Vegas-Clark County Urban League.
A new addition to the Black History Month celebration program this year is an essay contest for African-American high school students. The contest's theme is "Strength in Mind and Body," and it asks the students to complete the phrase, "As an African American, strength in mind and body has helped my people by..." Essay submissions will be accepted through March 5, 2009, and winners will be chosen by a panel of judges from the Black Leadership Network, a SUPERVALU Business Resource Group. Essay winners will be awarded scholarships, with a total of $150,000 being awarded to students across the country.
"At SUPERVALU, we're committed to building a diverse culture, one that values, encourages and respects the ideas, experiences and contributions of all of our employees and our customers," said Darnell Allen, SUPERVALU vice president of diversity and inclusion. "Diversity and inclusion energizes our associates, creates a competitive edge and drives improved performance."
SUPERVALU offices and banner stores also have a variety of plans to celebrate Black History Month this year. For example, at select store locations customers will be able to sample items and dishes featuring African-American vendor products during the month. Through SUPERVALU's supplier diversity program, the company works with small, minority-owned businesses to help them gain access to its store shelves, which in turn allows the company to better meet the needs and desires of its diverse customer base.
"SUPERVALU's Supplier Diversity department works to ensure that we are providing our customers with a wide range of products and services that best meet their diverse needs," added Mike Byron, SUPERVALU corporate vice president, supplier diversity. "By maintaining a diverse supplier base, we are helping to create sustained economic and systemic growth in the communities we serve which gives us a competitive edge."
For more information about events in their area, customers should contact their local stores. Contact information can be found at www.supervalu.com by clicking on each retail banner logo.
About SUPERVALU Inc.
SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest companies in the United States grocery channel with estimated annual sales of $45 billion. SUPERVALU holds leading market share positions across the U.S. with approximately 2,500 retail grocery locations, including nearly 920 in-store pharmacies. Through SUPERVALU's nationwide supply chain network, the company provides distribution and related logistics support services to more than 5,000 grocery endpoints across the country. SUPERVALU currently has approximately 190,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU, visit www.supervalu.com.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola(R), recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke(R), Fanta(R), Sprite(R), Coca-Cola Zero(R), vitaminwater, POWERade(R), Minute Maid(R) and Georgia(R) Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
SOURCE: SUPERVALU INC.SUPERVALU Public Affairs
Susie Bell, 952-828-4356