For the 18th consecutive year, Events DC and Safeway celebrated the season of giving by providing a festive holiday meal for thousands at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Serving District residents from all eight of the city’s wards, this beloved annual event also featured a community services expo to include free flu shots, diabetes and HIV testing, and a clothing giveaway. Doors opened at 9 a.m. with a traditional turkey dinner served from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
More than 5,000 city residents attended the Safeway Feast of Sharing, which brought together a host of community partners and volunteers, including SunTrust Bank, The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command, Unity Health Care, Centerplate/NBSE, Projection, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Hi-Tech Electric, and more. “Safeway Feast of Sharing is a cherished and meaningful Washington tradition we are proud to carry on each Thanksgiving,” said Jim Perkins, president of Safeway’s eastern division. “We are so delighted to see the community come together and demonstrate a wonderful spirit of giving. All of our community partners, as well as our 1,000 volunteers, provide not only a delicious meal, but a positive, powerful message of hope.”
“Giving back to our local community is such an important part of our mission at Events DC as the District’s convention and sports authority. Every year during the holiday season, we are reminded of our residents in need and look forward to welcoming them to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for Safeway Feast of Sharing,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “This event has become an annual Thanksgiving tradition in DC and wouldn’t be made possible without the commitment and generosity from Safeway and other local partnerships across the District.”
Elected officials and special guests expected to attend include Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, District Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Councilmembers Elissa Silverman (At-Large), Jack Evans (Ward 2), Brandon Todd (Ward 4), Charles Allen (Ward 6) and Vincent Gray (Ward 7); Washington Redskins Cheerleaders, D.C. United Midfielder Russell Canouse and mascot Talon. The Navy Ceremonial Color Guard presented the colors, and Betty Entzminger sang the National Anthem. R&B band LA Young featuring the Usual Suspects performed.
While a Thanksgiving meal is the highlight of the day, the Safeway Feast of Sharing also included a community services expo featuring a wide array of services and information, such as free health screenings (blood pressure, HIV, glucose, colorectal cancer, spinal and biometric), free flu shots from Safeway pharmacists, complimentary haircuts and manicures from Bennett Career Institute, door prizes, and a variety of informational and counseling services. Capital Area Food Bank also distributed special food bags. A clothing distribution took place from noon-2 pm, and featured a generous donation of 1,350 brand new Macy’s coats for men, women and children, from Macy’s and Nashville-based nonprofit Clothes4Souls. Additional clothing was donated from Safeway, Events DC, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the YMCA.
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, deliver premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the Stadium-Armory campus, which includes Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and surrounding Festival Grounds, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and Maloof Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Events DC also built and now serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the U.S. The most recent addition is Gateway DC, an innovative and versatile space featuring a covered and open-air pavilion in the center of a one-acre park, conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more info, visit www.eventsdc.com or at Facebook (Events DC), Twitter (@TheEventsDC) and Instagram (@EventsDC).
Safeway and its eastern division are part of Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the U.S., with both a strong local presence and national scale. The eastern division operates 121 stores in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Delaware. Albertsons Companies operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 19 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs. Albertsons Companies is dedicated to helping people across the country live better lives. In 2015 alone, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, the company gave more than $270 million in food and financial support to the more than 2,300 communities it serves, improving the lives of millions of people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, programs for people with disabilities, and veterans outreach. Albertsons Companies is committed to making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood.