(March 29) MONTEREY, Calif. — Safeway Inc. took the Diamond Crystal Award at the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s 5 a Day Excellence Awards for 2001.

The awards, which were presented during PBH’s March 21-24 board meeting, also included the presentation of 5 a Day National Excellence Awards to nine other companies and three individuals for their efforts in corporate involvement, employee achievement and educational awareness of the 5 a Day program.

Pleasanton-based Safeway took top honors for its Eat Like a Champion campaign, which was brought to life under the leadership of Don Harris, director of produce marketing for Safeway. The promotion involved each Safeway store adopting a local elementary school and inviting the students to tour the produce department. Each school received materials developed by 5 a Day in the U.S. and the 5 to 10 a Day program in Canada to teach children the benefits of eating healthy and staying fit.

Part of the promotion included spokeswomen from the U.S. and Canadian women’s soccer teams such as Mia Hamm. Safeway also launched an informational Web site at www.eatlikeachampion.com.

Harris said he was proud to accept the award.

“In the midst of all the high-calorie, nutrient-poor food that overwhelms our kids, it is great to educate children and adults with the Eat Like a Champion promotion and 5 a Day,” Harris said. “5 a Day promotions are a win-win scenario for anyone that engages themselves or their companies in the program.”

5 A DAY EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Elizabeth Pivonka, president of PBH, also honored Don Dressler, president of Western Growers Insurance Services, Newport Beach; Matt McInerney, executive vice president of the Western Growers Association, Newport Beach; and Mike Stuart, president of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Orlando; with individual 5 a Day Excellence Awards.

Pivonka said it largely was because of their efforts that PBH received funding from the state block grants for specialty crops.

OTHER AWARD WINNERS

  • William Lyons, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, and his department for the agency’s allocation of $3 million to PBH and 5 a Day from the state’s specialty crop block grant funds.


  • Commissioner Charles Bronson of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Tallahassee, and his department for the agency’s allocation of $1.68 million to PBH and 5 a Day from Florida’s share of the block grant.


  • The Produce Marketing Association for its $250,000 gift to A Campaign for Better Health as well as its ongoing support since PBH’s inception in 1991. In 2001, PMA donated $20,000 in in-kind donations.


  • Bi-Lo Inc., Greenville, S.C., for its Associate Health Fair, school store tours, billboard campaigns and 5 a Day consumer education


  • Ready Pac Produce Inc., Irwindale, Calif., for its participation in 5 a Day Across the USA and for its Get Fit in LA with 5 a Day promotion.


  • Supervalu Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., for its corporate 5 a Day promotion efforts through school visits and health fairs. Other corporate winners were Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.; Newark, Del.-based J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Health Services; and Lexington, Ky.-based Lexington Fayette County Health Department.
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