Albertsons Companies thanks generous customers for record-breaking donations toward Nourishing Neighbors childhood hunger relief

Customers donated $9.3 million at checkstands in September to enable 37.5 million healthy breakfasts; company and customer donations have now topped $110 million in 2020

BOISE, Idaho, Oct. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Thanks to the generosity of customers, the Albertsons Companies Nourishing Neighbors community relief fund raised a record $9.3 million in its September campaign to provide healthy breakfasts for children in need across its market areas. The funds – raised at the register and directed to local organizations in each store’s community – will enable 37.5 million breakfasts throughout the country.

Nourishing Neighbors is a charitable program of the Albertsons Companies Foundation, which is working to eradicate hunger in America.

“We are so humbled by the generosity of our customers,” said Christy Duncan Anderson, Executive Director of Albertsons Companies Foundation. “When we partner with our communities through Nourishing Neighbors to tackle issues that affect the most vulnerable among us, we help ensure every child in our neighborhoods can get a healthy start to their day.”

The donations were made at checkstands at Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Star Market, Tom Thumb, Randalls, ACME, and other Albertsons Cos. stores. Each store has partnered with a local charity that will use the donations to fund healthy breakfasts for children in their community.

Today, 14 million children in America do not know where their next meal will come from. In total, the resources provided to Nourishing Neighbors grant recipient organizations can enable all of the following:

  • Enough milk and juice to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool

  • 460,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables — roughly three times the weight of the Space Shuttle

  • Over 18 tons of peanut butter — roughly the same weight as a semi-tractor trailer

  • Enough oatmeal and cereal to fill 25 cars

  • Enough granola bars to give one to every resident in the state of Pennsylvania

$110 million raised for hunger relief in 2020

Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020 created unprecedented uncertainty and need throughout the country, Nourishing Neighbors has raised $57 million at the register from generous customers for community hunger relief. Albertsons Cos. provided a $53 million commitment to the fund, bringing the total to $110 million to date this year.

Albertsons Cos. has a long-standing commitment to hunger relief. In the last five years, the company has donated more than $2 billion in food to food banks and other hunger relief agencies, expanding their standing as one of the biggest retail supporters of hunger relief in the country. These donations were in addition to hundreds of tons of food contributed through local and regional food drives.

For more information about Albertsons Cos.’ commitment to hunger relief, please visit here.

About Albertsons Companies
Locally great and nationally strong, Albertsons Companies is a leading food and drug retailer in the United States. The company operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets,

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HHS Loosens Restrictions on COVID Relief Fund Spending

Responding to the concerns of physician and hospital associations and some members of Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has backed off from recent reporting requirements for groups that have received payments from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF), a $175 billion fund established by the CARES Act. However, it’s unclear whether HHS’ new approach will satisfy healthcare providers.

In an October 22 policy statement and guidance that significantly revised the content of guidance released on September 19, HHS explained that it had imposed the reporting requirements to prevent PRF payments from making some providers more profitable in 2020 than they were before the coronavirus pandemic.

HHS’ September guidance “has generated significant attention and opposition from many stakeholders and members of Congress,” the department said. “There is consensus among stakeholders and members of Congress who have reached out to HHS that the PRF should allow a provider to apply PRF payments against all lost revenues without limitation.”

The American Group Medical Association (AMGA) sent HHS a letter on October 21, the day before the policy change, in which it explained what’s at stake. Earlier guidance from the department, AMGA noted, had indicated that the providers could calculate COVID-related lost revenues by using “any reasonable method.” That included basing the calculation on the difference between budgeted and actual revenue in 2020.

The September guidance document, in contrast, said that providers had to calculate their lost revenues by computing the negative change in their net operating income from 2019 to 2020.

“Earlier guidance allowed our members to use ‘any reasonable method’ to determine their expenses and losses due to COVID-19,” the letter said. “Now, HHS is changing that calculation to one that will not capture the extent of their losses. AMGA members are still facing severe financial headwinds as they continue to deal with new COVID outbreaks and a difficult economic outlook. Changing the rules in the middle of this pandemic just adds to our members’ existing burdens. HHS should reinstate the earlier standard.”

The October update of the guidance, however, does not do that. Instead, HHS said, “Recipients may apply PRF payments toward lost revenue, up to the amount of the difference between their 2019 and 2020 actual patient care revenue.”

AMGA spokesman Matt Clark told Medscape Medical News that because AMGA members had not yet been asked for their reaction to the new policy, the association could not comment on it.

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), which agreed with AMGA’s objections, also had no substantive comment. “This latest update is definitely welcome, but it’s complicated, and we have to analyze it to determine whether it meets our concerns or whether it still needs improvement,” said Mollie Gelburd, associate director of government affairs for MGMA, in an interview with Medscape Medical News.

Getting Down to Nuts and Bolts

Under both sets of reporting requirements, physician practices that received more than $10,000 in PRF payments must report their healthcare-related expenses attributable to the coronavirus that haven’t been reimbursed by

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Heartburn Medicine – Tips For Effective Relief

Heartburn medicine: it's all the same, isn't it?

According to the advertisements, they all work wonderfully. Rolaids, Pepcid, Prilosec, Prevacid. But is not there some sort of difference between antacids and The Purple Pill? What about over-the-counter medications as compared to prescription drugs?

Not only is there a difference in how these medications work, there is a great difference in price. Knowing what to use can not only alleviate your symptoms, but spare your wallet as well.

For occasional symptoms of heartburn, for example those related to eating a spicy meal, several options exist. If you know ahead of time that the food you're planning to eat will cause heartburn, pre-treatment is the best answer. Both the over-the-counter H2-blockers (Pepcid, Zantac, Axid, and Tagamet) and the proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (Prilosec, Prevacid) are effective. The PPIs are stronger but the H2-blockers are cheaper. For most people, any of these will work. Generally speaking, they take at least an hour to begin decreasing acid production. Unlike antacids (Rolaids, Maalox, Tums) they must first be absorbed into your blood stream to work.

If you forget to pre-medicate, you can certainly take any of these medications once symptoms begin. The antacids neutralize stomach acid on contact and provide the quickest relief. (Remember your high school chemistry?) However, as more acid is produced, more antacid will be needed. Pepcid Complete contains both famotidine and a combination of two antacids (calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide). The antacids work to neutralize stomach acid until the famotidine has a chance to be absorbed and decrease acid production. The same can be accomplished less expensively by using generic famotidine or ranitidine (generic Zantac) along with a generic antacid.

Some patients complain that the H2-blockers (Pepcid, Zantac, Axid, and Tagamet) are ineffective. These medications decrease stomach acid production on the order of 50%. The OTC medications are about half the milligram strength as prescription versions, but are the same drugs. Generics of Zantac, Axid, Pepcid, and Tagamet are still available by prescription, and may actually cost less than over-the-counter medication – a month's supply may cost as little as $ 4.

The PPIs (Prilosec, Prevacid) decrease acid output by as much as 90%. In the past few years, two have gone over the counter, while several others remain by prescription (Aciphex, Protonix, Dexilant, Nexium). They all work about the same, although certain patients seem to obtain greater relief from one or the other. The OTC versions cost $ 20- $ 30 a month, compared to well over $ 100 for prescription medication.

One problem with having these medications over the counter is the danger of disguising a serious problem. The OTC medications warn you to see your doctor if symptoms persist beyond a few weeks, which is certainly good advice. You don't want to camouflage a serious ulcer or a cancerous condition. If you need occasional relief from heartburn, using over-the-counter medication is fine. If it's a daily problem, be sure to see your physician to rule out a …

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