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EASTER SEALS EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM WINS GRANT


Safeway Inc., operator of Vons and Pavilions stores in Southern California, has awarded $146,000 in grants to Easter Seals Southern California Disability Services to support new and expanded employment projects with the goal of creating independence among individuals with disabilities.

Easter Seals� WorkFirst initiative received two grants of $73,000 from the Safeway Empowerment Grant Fund. One grant goes to the Social Skills for Employment and College Success pilot program that provides curriculum for teenagers and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities to facilitate college and work success. The other grant supports Easter Seals� efforts to increase and expand current employment services to include not only customized employment, but also micro-enterprise development and the creation of a specialized employer training video and welcome packet.

�Our long-term goal is to support people with disabilities to find the life opportunity that best suits their individual interest and skill using Easter Seals services,� said Mark Whitley, president and CEO at Easter Seals Southern California. �We have developed innovative employment services to help adults find and keep employment, and we�ll expand these options to include an enhanced customized employment experience with the goal of finding paying work that fits the individual.�

�Vons is a proud employer of many associates with disabilities and we want to ensure the good work of Easter Seals employment services continues in this challenging economy,� says Daymond Rice, Vons Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations. �The Safeway Empowerment Grant Fund was created for this express purpose, to support and empower agencies and individuals to thrive through greater independence. We are confident these grants to Easter Seals Southern California will do just that.�

About Vons, a Safeway Company
Vons is a division of Safeway Inc., a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales, which totaled $44.1 billion in 2008. Safeway operates 1,739 stores in the United States and western Canada, including 284 in southern California and southern Nevada that operate under the Vons and Pavilions banners.

The company’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. Vons/Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and in 2008 donated more than $248 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education, hunger relief and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities. To learn more about Vons� charitable giving and community involvement, go to www.Vons.com, click on “About Us” and “Community Giving.”

About Easter Seals
Easter Seals Southern California provides specialized services to people with disabilities. Our mission is to provide exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. We serve 3,500 people at 50 offices and sites throughout Southern California.

To learn more, please visit www.SouthernCal.EasterSeals.com.

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