For the 17th consecutive year, Safeway and Events DC have celebrated the season of giving by providing a festive holiday meal for thousands at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Wednesday, November 23. 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 and diabetes testing and a clothing giveaway. The doors opened at 9:30 a.m. with a traditional turkey dinner being served from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
More than 5,000 city residents are expected to have attended the Safeway Feast of Sharing, which brings together a host of community partners and volunteers, including SunTrust Bank, The Salvation Army, Unity Health Care, Inc., Centerplate/NBSE, the Washington Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Projection, Metropolitan Baptist Church, the YMCA and Digital Conventions.
“We’re so pleased that the Safeway Feast of Sharing has become such a meaningful and treasured Thanksgiving tradition in Washington, DC, demonstrating a wonderful spirit of giving,” said Dan Valenzuela, president of Safeway’s Eastern Division. “All of our partners, as well as more than 1,000 volunteers, donate their time and services because Feast of Sharing provides not only a delicious holiday meal, but a message of hope to our neighbors in need.”
“Events DC is proud to continue to host the annual Safeway Feast of Sharing at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center as an opportunity to open up our doors and give back to our residents in need,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “We are so grateful for the generosity and ongoing commitment of Safeway and other local partnerships in the District who have made this important event a bountiful Thanksgiving tradition in the District.”
Elected officials, dignitaries and performers invited include Councilmembers Jack Evans (Ward 2), Brandon Todd (Ward 4) and Robert White (At-Large), the Navy Ceremonial Color Guard, Chef Huda (ABC’s The Taste/Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen), Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents, D.C. United’s Mascot “Talon,” motivational speaker and NBA mom Wanda Durant, and live music from the Howard University Gospel Choir and the Hip-Hop Orchestra at University of Maryland.
“Giving back to our communities is core to our purpose,” said Dan O’Neill, chairman and chief executive officer of SunTrust Greater Washington/Maryland. “This partnership gives us the opportunity to make an immediate impact in our region, giving people the jumpstart they need to get back on track—free flu shots, diabetes testing, free clothing and a good Thanksgiving meal.”
Safeway provided free shuttle buses to pick-up and drop-off guests from several DC Safeway locations as well as from select senior centers around the city; the Washington Veterans Affairs Medical Center will provide transportation for veterans from the VA Hospital and other locations.
Safeway and its Eastern Division are part of Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, with both a strong local presence and national scale. The Eastern Division operates more than 120 stores in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Delaware. Albertsons Companies operate 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.
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activitie, and 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 United States. The most recent addition is Gateway DC, an innovative and versatile space featuring a covered and open-air pavilion in the center of a 1-acre park, conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.eventsdc.com.