Friday, January 23, 2009

Fresh & Charitable: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Extends Deadline For Schools to Register For School Fundraiser Program

Fresh & Easy Buzz was the first publication to report on December 17, 2008 in this linked story [Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Launches 'Shop for Schools' Fund-Raising Program to Aid Schools Near its Stores] that Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market was launching its "Shop for Schools" school fundraising program. Numerous other Blogs and mainstream media publications have since reported on the development, following Fresh & Easy's announcement of the program in this press release on January 7, 2009.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy has now extended the registration deadline to January 30 for schools in Southern California, Metro Las Vegas, Nevada and the Phoenix, Arizona Metro region -- the three Western U.S. markets where the grocery chain has its 110 small-format grocery and fresh foods markets -- to sign up for the program.

The "Shop for Schools" sign-up works like this: "All eligible Kindergarten through 8th grade schools within a three-mile radius of a Fresh & Easy store can participate in the program. For every $20 spent at a Fresh & Easy store, participating schools can get a $1 cash donation," according to Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chief marketing officer Simon Uwins. [You can read additional specifics at our December 17, 2008 piece at the link above.]

The program begins on February 1, 2009, ending on March 31, 2009.

[Note to Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market: We think the program time period is a bit short, just like the school registration period was, which is why the company has extended it. We suggest you consider extending the program period -- say instead of ending it on March 31, run it until at least April 15-16. And since April 15, 2009 is income tax deadline time -- and since income tax revenues to state and city governments are going to be much reduced this year over last because of the recession -- such timing, ending on April 15 or 16 instead of march 31, would be good.

Additionally, schools get most of their revenue from property taxes. Those revenues are going to be way down as well because of the foreclosure crisis and the housing valuation crunch. And nowhere is this going to be more true than in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona, which are three of the top U.S. regions for foreclosures and reduced housing value over the last year. That extra two weeks will help the schools -- which are going to need all the help they can get.]

Tesco's Fresh & Easy says it's already "signed up hundreds of schools in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada in the program."

"We have seen an incredible response to our 'Shop for Schools program'. Schools are telling us they are searching for ways to raise money especially in the current (down) economy," said Fresh & Easy chief marketing officer Simon Uwins. "With school budgets so tight, we are proud we can help our neighbors."

According to Uwins, the "Shop for Schools" program is designed to work like this: "Registered schools will mobilize parents and students to collect Fresh & Easy (store) receipts and then submit them for verification. Fresh & Easy will cut a check to the school for the amount raised. The money raised can be used for whatever the school needs most. The school in each state that raises the most money will receive a $5,000 cash bonus from the company. [Our linked December 17, 2008 piece at top offers additional details.]

Grocers raising money for schools and students is "old school," which we like. Supermarkets throughout the U.S., including in the west, have been and are running similar fundraising programs, ranging from cash donation programs and others to the popular "Apples (computers) for Schools" program, in which free Apple Computers are provided to schools. It's good to see Tesco's Fresh & Easy join in the school fundraising process.

Additional information about the grocery chain's "Shop for Schools" program is available at:

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