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The ShopRite of Aramingo Avenue in Philadelphiahas added a retail registered dietician to their team. Stephanie Perez, RD, is the first retail registered dietician in the city ofPhiladelphia. Her goal is to educate the consumers who shop the store every day. As part of the “Get Healthy Philly!” initiative, Perez is available to offer advice and counseling on topics such as diabetes, high blood pressure and nutrition for both parents and children. In-store customer events are also scheduled each week to help cure “the same old meal blues” and give healthy alternatives to school lunches. Just before Labor Day and back to school, the store had children make their own trail mix and offered unbuttered popcorn as an alternative snack. Perez also does community outreach to senior centers, thePhiladelphia veterans center, pre-schools, day care centers and gyms. All of the events are at no charge and the customers can contact Perez whenever they have questions. The store employees have also gotten into the act by having their own Biggest Loser contest. Perez said, “By getting the employees involved, customers get involved. This helps educate both the consumer and the employee.”

Continuing the circle of life, we send out congratulations to industry veteran Neil Brassell and his wife Elaine, who became grandparents for the first time on August 21. Baby Hannah Elizabeth Brassell was born to their son Charlie and his wife Lisa Brassell. Mother and baby are both doing well and everyone is over the moon with Hannah’s arrival.

We send condolences to Steve Heggelke, executive vice president of merchandising and procurement for Bozzuto’s, on the recent death of his father, Keith Heggelke, aged 73. Donations can be made in Keith’s memory to the Broome County Dog Shelter 110 Cutler Pond Road,Binghamton, NY, 13905.

Birthday shout-outs for the waning month of September go out to: Ed Elborne, Acme Markets; Rick Dolan, Herr Foods; Nate Ostroff, Network Food Brokers; Joe Gardyan, Utz Snacks; Bob Higgins, Saint Joseph’s University; and special birthday wishes to my mother, volunteer extraordinaire Rosalie Maggio, who is celebrating her 80th birthday this month! Buon compleanno a tutti!

Anniversary wishes this month to: Elaine and Dick Redner, Redner’s Markets, who are celebrating 40 years of wedded bliss; Jeff and Elaine Bilk, Burris; Maurice and Gina Ciccotelli Christino, Cento Foods; Michael and Jessie Scaduto Riley, Food Circus Supermarkets; industry veteran Neil and Elaine Brassell; Frank and Mary Fraizer, retired, Cargill; and Janine and Mike Marano, AMG. Congratulations!

To our industry friends and colleagues of the Jewish faith, we extend best wishes for a l’shanah tovah! Happy New Year!

 Quote of the month: Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know, imagination points to all we might discover and create. –Albert Einstein

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