PITTSBURGH, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Giant Eagle, Inc., the Pittsburgh- based supermarket retailer, today announced that the company will launch its Apples For The Students program for Cleveland-area public and private schools. Apples For The Students is a proprietary program for schools to earn and obtain classroom learning tools at no cost. Participating schools collect Giant Eagle register receipts and the dollar value of the receipts are added to a savings-type account. Every reward item has a specific purchase price in register tape dollars. When enough register tape dollars have been saved, they can be redeemed for items such as computer equipment, software, encyclopedias and other high tech teaching tools for student education. Apples For The Students is being offered for the first time in greater Cleveland through 53 new Giant Eagle stores that began operating on September 16th. Giant Eagle was the first supermarket chain in the United States to launch this program. Since its inception in 1988, the company has presented schools throughout western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and West Virginia with over $15 million worth of support. "We're proud to make Apples For The Students available to Cleveland schools but this program is not entirely new to Ohio," said Giant Eagle Vice Chairman Anthony Rego. "Schools in Akron, Canton and Youngstown, where Giant Eagle has had a presence for years, have been participating. "Last year alone, schools in those areas received nearly $340,000 in educational awards through Apples For The Students." Notre Dame School in Warren, Ohio redeemed enough points to receive awards valued at nearly $9,000 last year. "We're just thrilled with Apples For The Students," said Mary Pawlikowski, program coordinator at Notre Dame. "We received school items we couldn't ever afford on our own. "Thanks to Giant Eagle, our school can provide students with a more technologically advanced education." As a corporation that values education and the work force of the next generation, Giant Eagle is committed to each and every community it serves. "The beauty of Apples For The Students is that it costs the schools absolutely nothing," said Chuck Rini, Giant Eagle Executive Vice President. "Because many of the students' family and friends already shop in our stores, the schools have an established support base. "And the program provides Giant Eagle a perfect opportunity to give back to the communities that have long supported our stores." The introduction of Apples For The Students comes at a time when Cleveland-area schools need a boost. "The city's recent economic growth has been very successful," said Rini. "But supporting education is one of the ways Gain Eagle can show thanks to our customers and help provide our children with the best possible opportunities. "They are our future and we truly want to help. Hopefully, our Apples For The Students program will inspire other Cleveland businesses to help local schools." The Apples For The Students program has proven to be successful because it is very easy for schools to administer. To earn awards, schools encourage supporters -- parents, friends, neighbors -- to collect Giant Eagle register receipts during the 20 week program period beginning October 11 and concluding February 27, 1999. The receipts are then redeemed for a wide selection of educational tools that schools need most like the latest Apple and IBM computers and software, audio/visual equipment, sports gear, playground equipment and more. All schools, public, private and parochial, grades K through 12, are invited to participate. "Company-wide, Giant Eagle has over 200 stores and the receipts are all valid for collection no matter which store issued the receipts," Rego said. "So, we encourage the schools collect and redeem as many store receipts as possible." Additional information and enrollment forms for the Giant Eagle Apples For The Students program are available by contacting Tina Thomson, Program Coordinator, at Giant Eagle, Inc., 101 Kappa Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15238 or by calling toll free at 1-800-74-APPLE. Founded in 1931, Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with over 200 corporate and independent stores in western Pennsylvania, northeastern Ohio, and West Virginia. By offering modern stores, a wide range of departments and services, and involvement in numerous community activities, Giant Eagle strives to "Make Life Simple" for the customers it serves.
SOURCE Giant Eagle