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Don’t forget to mark your calendars for June 1. That’s the date for “A Vision for the Future” the Visionary Award Dinner benefitting the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Once again this terrific fundraising dinner will take place at Terrace on the Park in Corona, Queens and this year’s Visionary honoree will be Bob Unanue, CEO of Goya Foods. The Visionary Award Dinner supports the urgent mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness: to find preventions, treatments, and cures for retinal degenerative diseases. For more information on the event contact Katie Van Benschoten at 212.244.1470 or KVanBenschoten@FightBlindness.org.

And in the good deeds category, Key Food Stores and the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA secured more than 8,000 pounds of food and household product donations for Brooklyn families in need through their first Charity Stripe initiative. Key Food created a program that plays on the “charity stripe” or free-throw line with the Nets that for each free throw made throughout the season Key Food and select vendor partners pledged to make a donation. “I am incredibly proud of this program and to finally see it come to life is amazing. As the official Supermarket of the Brooklyn Nets, we get to create some wonderful collaborations, but my absolute favorite aspect of our partnership is being able to come together, with the help of our amazing vendor partners, and give back to the local community,” says integrated marketing and PR manager Michele Gissi. “Today is very special for us. Key Food was founded 80 years ago right here in Brooklyn and I couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate this occasion than this.” Key Food partnered with Friendship Dairies, Kellogg’s, The KraftHeinz Company, Post Consumer Brands, Smithfield Foods, Fantastik and General Mills to donate more than 10 pounds of food and/or household products for each of the 777 free throws the Brooklyn Nets scored at the Barclays Center throughout the 2016-17 season. At a special event to celebrate the donation, Brooklyn Nets player Justin Hamilton joined Key Food and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment to serve lunch to Brooklyn families in need. “We are pleased to have aligned with Key Food on the Charity Stripe initiative and day of serving at St. John’s Bread & Life,” said Roland Guevara, vice president of community relations at Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “We would like to thank all of the organizations that have collectively donated more than 8,000 pounds of food for Brooklyn families in need. Well done to all involved!

Congrats to ShopRite as they have expanded their free fruit program to include the five ShopRite of Hunterdon County stores owned and operated by the Colalillo family. Under the program, kids 12 years of age and younger receive a free banana, clementine or other seasonal fruit while shopping with a parent or guardian. The fruits are located in the produce aisle and the program is overseen by the supermarket’s team of in-store dietitians. “We are committed to offering parents ways to provide healthier food choices for their children while shopping in our stores,” said Jeannie Colallilo, director of community relations for Flemington, NJ based ShopRite of Hunterdon County. “We believe that teaching children to develop good eating habits at an early age is extremely important. We’re happy to provide our customers with an easy way to demonstrate to their children that fruit is fun and delicious.” The free fruit program is part of ShopRite’s ongoing commitment to providing health and wellness offerings to its customers.

Well that’s all for now. Looking forward to seeing you all out in the trade and as always you can reach me at 201-250-2217 or kgallagher@best-met.com.