Why I like shopping at Safeway

Every year, the U.S. Department of Labor gives the SPIRIT Award to an individual with a disability or an organization demonstrating leadership and “an unyielding commitment to achieving success.” There are over 1,700 Safeway stores across the United States and Canada, and Safeway’s national workforce includes over 10,000 employees with autism and other disabilities.

So it was no surprise to learn last week that Safeway Chairman, President and CEO Steve Burd was awarded the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2008 SPIRIT Award.

The SPIRIT award is part of the Department of Labor’s New Freedom Initiative, an effort to increase workplace opportunities and enhance workplace environments for people with disabilities. From the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy website:

Award recipients are recognized for their qualities to inspire and enhance the ability of Americans with disabilities to enter and participate fully in the 21st century workforce.

These qualities include:

• Strength in leadership
• Perseverance in unyielding commitment to achieving success
• Integrity
• Role model
• Independence
• Trail blazer

The SPIRIT Award is one of many honors Mr. Burd and Safeway have received for their dedication to people with disabilities — Safeway has been one of Easter Seals’ most generous corporate partners, and earlier this year we recognized Safeway as our top corporate sponsor for their contribution of $9.2 million to support Easter Seals services for people living with autism and other disabilities.

Safeway stores operate under various brand names across the U.S. and Canada, including Safeway (East Coast, Seattle, Portland, Northern California, Phoenix and Denver), Vons and Pavilions (Southern California and Nevada), Dominick’s (Chicago), Randalls and Tom Thumb (Texas), Genuardi’s (Philadelphia) and Carrs stores (Alaska).

I could go on and on about Safeway, but I gotta go get groceries. At Safeway, of course!


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