**FILE** Courtesy of Howard University News Service

Safeway will launch its fifth annual Kick Hunger campaign in March at its stores in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

The campaign serves as a fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank and the Maryland Food Bank. Jim Perkins, the president of the Mid-Atlantic Division of Safeway, said his company is committed to supporting hunger relief programs.

“Our local food banks are truly making a difference in our local communities, and we are proud to support their work,” he said.

Safeway’s Nourishing Neighbors initiative partners for the campaign include The Washington Informer, Washington Commanders, Baltimore Ravens, WJLA-TV in the District, WBAL-TV in Baltimore, D.C. radio stations El Zol 107.9 FM and WPGC 95.5 FM, Baltimore radio stations WBAL NewsRadio and 98 Rock and D.C. newspaper El Tiempo Latino.

Sports and media partners include former Washington Commanders wide receiver Gary Clark, former Baltimore Ravens running back Femi Ayanbadejo, WJLA morning anchor Ashlie Rodriquez, WBAL anchors Mindy Basara and Jason Newton, 98 Rock’s Justin Schlegel and WBAL’s Bryan Nehman.

The Capital Area Food Bank provides 40 million meals annually to food-insecure residents in the D.C. metropolitan area through hundreds of nonprofits as well as partnering with other organizations to address the root causes of hunger by pairing food with other critical services.

The Maryland Food Bank currently works with almost 1,300 soup kitchens, pantries and shelters from western part of the state and to the Eastern Shore by providing nearly 62 million meals a year to food unstable Marylanders.

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