C&S Wholesale Grocers Partners with First Book® in Early Literacy Program for Children in Need

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C&S Wholesale Grocers today announced the launch of its 2007 literacy program partnership with First Book -- a nonprofit that provides children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Through their Food for the Body, Food for the Mind initiative, the two organizations will bring more than 30,000 brand new books to programs serving children in need and give them permanent access to First Book's channels for new books.

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Research show us that children who don't learn to read grow up to have a lower engagement in community activities and are more likely to require public assistance later in life. First Book addresses this important issue by feeding young minds, giving children the tools they will need to succeed in school and in life

C&S Wholesale Grocers today announced the launch of its 2007 literacy partnership with First Book -- a nonprofit that provides children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Through their Food for the Body, Food for the Mind initiative, the two organizations will bring more than 30,000 brand new books to programs serving children in need and give them permanent access to First Book's channels for new books.

The goal of the initiative in 2007 is to register at least 350 new programs--whether preschool, mentoring, tutoring, or other literacy programs--with First Book. Once registered, programs will receive an immediate donation of books for their children to keep. C&S Wholesale Grocers will provide at least four books per child in each program that is registered in seven target communities: Birmingham, AL; Fresno, CA; Honolulu, HI; Aberdeen, MD; Westfield, MA; Central Islip, NY and Chester, NY. Registered literacy programs will also be made permanently eligible for an ongoing supply of books through a variety of First Book channels.

According to Gina Goff, Director of Corporate Giving for C&S Wholesale Grocers, the partnership between her company and First Book is a natural one for two organizations with a shared interest in improving communities at both local and national levels.

"While C&S Wholesale Grocers supplies food to nourish the body, First Book supplies books to enrich young minds," she said.

A recent study reveals that, on average, there exists only one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods nationwide. Food for the Body, Food for the Mind is part of an ongoing First Book initiative to connect with and assist every literacy program in the U.S. that serves children and families in need by registering them with First Book. Such programs are currently estimated to number close to 300,000 nationwide. Once completed, First Book's model will provide the only centralized listing of qualified literacy programs serving disadvantaged communities in the country.

"Just as children need proper nutrition to grow healthy bodies, they also need books to help grow healthy minds," said Kyle Zimmer, president of First Book. "C&S Wholesale Grocers' partnership with First Book will not only help get books into the hands of children in need through trusted literacy programs, it will help keep books flowing into their communities."

"This joint initiative demonstrates that great corporate citizens can directly influence the quality of life in their communities and First Book is proud to be part of the C&S effort," said Zimmer.

"Illiteracy has a profound effect on society as a whole," said Rick Cohen, CEO and Chairman of C&S Wholesale Grocers. "Research show us that children who don't learn to read grow up to have a lower engagement in community activities and are more likely to require public assistance later in life. First Book addresses this important issue by feeding young minds, giving children the tools they will need to succeed in school and in life," he said.

"Partnering with First Book allows C&S a great opportunity to reach out to those children and inspire community-based change," added Cohen.

About First Book

First Book is an international non-profit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Through hundreds of local Advisory Boards, the First Book National Book Bank, and the First Book Marketplace, the organization provides an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring, and family literacy programs. First Book has provided more than 46 million new books to children in need in thousands of communities nationwide. For more information about First Book, please visit http://www.firstbook.org/cs.

About C&S Wholesale Grocers

C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. is a privately owned company with annual sales for 2007 of $20 billion. The company is the 7th largest privately held company in the nation, as ranked by Forbes magazine. Founded in 1918, C&S provides distribution services to grocery chains and independent stores, delivering to more than 5,000 locations from its distribution centers in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, California and Hawaii. C&S Wholesale Grocers supports initiatives to stop hunger and to promote the health and enrichment of communities that are homes to its employees and facilities. C&S was named the 2006 America's Second Harvest Grocery Distributor of the Year, and is the 2007 Supermarket News Community Service Award Winner. For more information please visit http://www.cswg.com/pr1.htm.

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Gina Goff
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