The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company has announced customers who shop its stores in Darien helped raise $4,630 through its annual Food for Friends program. The money was donated to Person to Person to help provide hunger relief to area residents.

"We are overwhelmed by the generosity and support from our customers and associates for Food for Friends," Arlene Putterman, a spokesman for Stop & Shop, said. "We exceeded the amount raised in 2009 by 40 percent. Even a tough economy could not dampen the spirit of giving that exists with the associates and customers in our communities."

Stop & Shop set a new record in 2010 with its 21st annual Food for Friends campaign and raised more than $2 million. Sixty percent of the funds went directly to hundreds of local food pantries that stores adopt in each community; forty percent were allocated to regional state food banks.

The Food for Friends program ran in all 392 Stop & Shop stores from Oct. 29 through Dec. 10. Customers donated $1, $3, or $5 "paper turkeys" at their local Stop & Shop. Customer contributions accounted for 90 percent of the $2 million.

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company employs nearly 62,000 associates and operates over 390 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey. The company helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer, and promotes general health and wellness -- with emphasis on children's educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA's Smart Way program; has been awarded LEED (EB) certifications for 50 of its existing stores; and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company.

To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com.

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