Walmart Foundation announces $15.5 million in grants to support free meal and nutrition education programs this summer and throughout the school year

$15.5 million in grants to seven national nonprofits support meal and nutrition programs this summer and year-round in over 7,700 U.S. communities

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2015-6-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, the Walmart Foundation announces $15.5 million in grants to seven national nonprofits to support free meal and nutrition education programs this summer and throughout the school year. The programs in more than 7,700 communities across the country will help over one million low-income children and their families gain access to critical meals and teach them how to cook and eat healthy together. The nonprofits receiving funding from the Walmart Foundation include: National Council of Young Men’s Christian Association (Y-USA), National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative, National 4-H Council, National League of Cities, FoodCorpsand Common Threads.

These grants come at a challenging time for the millions of children who are out of school and without access to school meals and daily routines. Many children who benefit from eating free and reduced priced school meals do not participate in summer meal programs. Although this gap is slowly closing, only one in six low-income children who relied on school lunch during the school year participated in a summer nutrition program last year, according to a new report issued by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). This leaves many children vulnerable to hunger and poor nutrition during the summertime and poses a risk to future health.

“While many children look forward to the summer months as a time to relax, it can be a difficult time for families who rely on meals at school,” said Karrie Denniston, director of hunger relief and nutrition at the Walmart Foundation. “As in years past, this summer we continue our work with longstanding nonprofit partners to help more kids access meals and learn to develop nutritious eating habits so they can live healthy lives.”

The grants from the Walmart Foundation will serve families through the following programs:

Nonprofit Grant Amount Grant Overview
National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations (Y-USA) $5.3 million Enable the expansion of year-long food programs to provide healthy meals, snacks and enriching activities that support the holistic development of 200,000 kids in more than 2,300 communities across the United States.
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) $2.3 million Provide more than 15 million meals to underserved youth, and provide nutrition education to more than 257,000 children and families in 80 communities across the United States.
Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative $2.2 million Increase child participation in summer and afterschool meal programs in 12 regions across Texas.
National 4-H Council $2 million Provide nutrition education in 24 states for underserved youths, with a focus on expanding programs for African Americans and Hispanic audiences.
National League of Cities $1.5 million Implement year-round feeding programs, with the support of the Food Research and Action Center, to provide 2.4 million meals to low-income children.
FoodCorps $1.2 million Provide training and resources needed to help children access nutrition education in 500 schools in 16 states, and Washington D.C. Programs leverage the USDA My Plate curriculum to teach kids about healthy food, build/tend to school gardens and bring locally sourced food from farms into school cafeterias.
Common Threads $1 million Expand hands-on cooking and nutrition education curriculum in six cities to teach children and their families in underserved communities the skills needed to get America’s kids cooking for life. This grant will also be used to develop a digital platform for students to reinforce lessons through games and collaborative projects.

As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is uniquely positioned to lead on the issue of fighting hunger and helping provide access to nutrition education. As part of a commitment to creating a more sustainable food system, Walmart has set goals to provide four billion meals to those in need in the U.S. and help four million people access nutrition education through 2020. Through the commitment, Walmart is also dedicated to improving the affordability of food by lowering the “true cost” of food for both customers and the environment, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain.

To learn more about Walmart’s commitments to fight hunger and provide nutrition education, visit foundation.walmart.com.

Argos chooses Birmingham School of Jewellery student Danielle Laurent to produce an exclusive jewellery collection

Milton Keynes, 2015-6-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — First year Birmingham School of Jewellery student Danielle Laurent has been chosen by Argos to produce an exclusive jewellery collection, to be sold in the retailer’s stores nationwide and on argos.co.uk from January 2016.

Danielle, aged 39 who is originally from California, USA, beat off competition from 50 other students at the Birmingham School of Jewellery, to design a collection for the UK’s largest jewellery retailer Argos.

Danielle said: “I’m so excited about the fact that people around the UK will be able to buy pieces of jewellery that I have designed myself. My collection is called Wishes, and is inspired by dandelions and summer days spent wishing on dandelion seeds, allowing people to carry their own wishes with them wherever they go.”

For the second year running, Argos’ jewellery buying team challenged first year students studying for a BA (Hons) Jewellery Design & Related Products degree to design and create a four piece jewellery collection that reflected jewellery trends for the year ahead. The students were then given four weeks to create their prototypes and present them back to the Argos jewellery buying team.

Danielle added: “It has been a great experience learning how to design jewellery for a national audience and creating a collection to go into production. It really is going to get my jewellery designing career off to a flying start.”

Alice Rigby, Jewellery Buying Manager for Argos, said: “We were blown away by all of the students’ creativity with their designs. Danielle’s collection stood out for us as she gave her jewellery collection a clear meaning which we think our customers will love and feel inspired by.

Sally Collins, Lecturer on the BA Jewellery Design and Related Products BA (Hons) at Birmingham City University, said: “This project has provided such a fantastic opportunity for the students. They have relished the chance to learn more about the commercial side of the jewellery industry and work with such an established retail brand like Argos. Whilst learning about trends, pricing, production methods and target markets, the students have created designs for creative and commercially viable jewellery ranges. This is a great result and a super collaboration.”

Danielle will work for six months alongside Argos’ jewellery buying team and manufacturer Optima, where she will spend time learning the process of how her jewellery collection – which includes a pendant, ring, earrings and bracelet – will be developed from design through to production.

Alice Rigby added: “As a business we are committed to supporting young talent and bringing through the next generation of jewellery designers. Danielle’s collection will join us next year and sits alongside our established UK-based ‘Designers at Argos ‘collection.

Wishes will be available from January 2016 in Argos stores nationwide and on argos.co.uk.

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Notes to Editors:

For more information about the partnership with the Birmingham Jewellery School please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: media.relations@argos.co.uk.

Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

About Argos
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 50,000 products through www.argos.co.uk, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with around 121m customer transactions a year through its stores and over 900 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2015.  Customers can take advantage of Argos’ convenient Check & Reserve service available through its network of 788 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

In the financial year to February 2015, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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Argos chooses Birmingham School of Jewellery student Danielle Laurent to produce an exclusive jewellery collection

Argos chooses Birmingham School of Jewellery student Danielle Laurent to produce an exclusive jewellery collection

Homebase reports a 200% year on year increase in outside plastic storage sheds

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-6-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Homeowners across Britain are turning to unconventional ways of increasing valuable storage space in their homes.

It would see that as a nation, we’ve run out of space under the bed, at the back of the wardrobe and in ‘that kitchen draw’, as leading garden retailer Homebase reports a 200 per cent year on year increase¹ in outside plastic storage sheds.

Heidi Towse, Outdoor Structure Buyer for Homebase, said: “The average three bedroom family home is much smaller than it was 50 years ago.

“We also have a lot more outside furniture and accessories that need a home during the winter months. We no longer just have a bench in the garden, but instead an array of furniture including parasols, bistro sets and sun loungers to store away.

“Plastic sheds seem to be the key to creating much needed extra storage in the home, they’re not only durable and easy to maintain and assemble, but also come in a range of sizes no matter how big or small your outside space is.”

Homebase sells over 150 varieties of sheds and offers plenty of advice for assembling sheds. Homebase also sells a variety of care products. For more information visit www.homebase.co.uk

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Note to Editors:
¹ – Representing Homebase sales for twelve weeks ending 24 May 2015 versus the same comparable period the year before.

For more information, please contact the Homebase Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email media.relations@homebase.co.uk .

Follow us @Homebase_PR.

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 58 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 279 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2015, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 17,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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Homebase reports a 200% year on year increase in outside plastic storage sheds

Homebase reports a 200% year on year increase in outside plastic storage sheds

Big Lots launches exclusive line of pet products featuring the American Kennel Club brand, AKC® Select

Retailer strives to keep dogs happy and healthy with products including treats, collars and more

Columbus, Ohio, 2015-6-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Big Lots is proud to announce the launch of AKC® Select, an exclusive line of pet products featuring the American Kennel Club brand. This new premium line of merchandise, along with our current pet product offerings, will provide dog owners with an exceptional value when shopping Big Lots First.

“Dog lovers know dogs are part of the family,” said Richard R. Chene, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer. “We are excited to support the American Kennel Club, the leading authority on all things dogs, to offer our customer high-quality products and show her that she can depend on Big Lots for all of her dog’s needs.”

To celebrate the launch of AKC® Select, Big Lots created an online video campaign pairing cuddly puppies and adorable babies as they face off in the ultimate battle of cuteness. Each spot ends with a call for viewers to vote via #TeamDoggies or #TeamBabies on who won the cuteness battle: www.youtube.com/biglots.

The AKC® Select line of products will feature a large range of dog toys and treats along with other dog accessories such as collars, leashes, beds and grooming supplies ranging in price from $3.50 to $15.00. The AKC® Select line is now available in Big Lots stores across the United States. For additional information or to view the product line, visit www.BigLots.com/akc-select.

The American Kennel Club has long been the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to purebred dogs and is the largest purebred dog registry in the world. AKC is dedicated to promoting responsible dog ownership and enriching the lives of all dogs through its programs, events, and services.

About Big Lots, Inc.
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) is a unique, nontraditional, discount retailer operating 1,461 Big Lots stores in 48 states with product assortments in the merchandise categories of Food, Consumables, Furniture, Seasonal, Soft Home, Hard Home, and Electronics Accessories. Our vision is to be recognized for providing an outstanding shopping experience for our customers, valuing and developing our associates, and creating growth for our shareholders. For more information, visit www.biglotsmedia.com

About the American Kennel Club
Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKCregistered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org.

AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

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Media Contact:
Katie Snyder
1-877-614-1274
Katie.Snyder@havasww.com

Camp Carroll Commissary, South Korea to reopen on July 14 after an extensive year-long renovation

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-6-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — After an extensive year-long renovation, the Camp Carroll Commissary, South Korea, will reopen July 14 with events including sales promotions, product samplings and drawings for prizes.

“Customers who remember the old Quonset hut building that housed the Camp Carroll Commissary will find it hard to believe what they see,” said Wayne Walk, DeCA’s zone manager in South Korea. “Every corner of the store is virtually new. Very few signs of the former commissary remain.”

The extensive remodeling began last summer and completely renovated the store’s interior and exterior. The work included replacing the roof, HVAC, lighting, electrical and fire suppression systems. Although the store’s footprint hasn’t changed, to give the sales floor an additional 648 square feet, a wall was removed and the sales floor was extended 8 feet into the warehouse.

“Bumping into the warehouse increased the sales floor by nearly 15 percent,” said Walk, “giving us more space to stock groceries and customers will have more elbow room in the aisles.”

Most of the store equipment was replaced, including all the chill and frozen cases that were upgraded to energy-efficient models. All interior finishes and signage were replaced with a colorful new décor that draws its hues from nature and complements the new larger produce department.

Outside, an entrance canopy and a covered walkway give customers protection from the elements, and a large free-standing exterior sign announces the store is open six days a week – closed on Wednesday – and lists store hours. The parking lot was also resurfaced and restriped.

Commissary employees and suppliers are scheduled to begin stocking the shelves July 10 for the grand reopening July 14.

“We’re proud to open this beautiful and modern, compact grocery store,” said Solange Gates, store director for the Camp Walker and Camp Carroll commissaries. “The renovation brings a greater selection and variety to our customers, while offering a fresh, new feel to their shopping experience.”

Gates added that the Camp Carroll Commissary will fill customer orders for fresh fruit and vegetable trays and grocery and meat items not regularly stocked in the Camp Carroll store but available at the larger Camp Walker Commissary. She said most orders can be filled within 48 hours.

During the year-long construction project, while the commissary was closed for renovation, the U.S. Army Garrison Daegu ran a shuttle bus from Camp Carroll to the Camp Walker Commissary two days a week for the convenience of the 2,000 soldiers and family members who rely on the Camp Carroll store for groceries. The bus service is scheduled to end when the Camp Carroll Commissary reopens.

NOTE: For photos related to this release, please visit our Flickr page.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil