Tsunami Aid

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One of the nationwide grocery chains mired in a tense contract dispute with unionized workers in Colorado is extending a hand of generosity -- to survivors, and to relatives of people killed in the tsunamis.

Safeway launched a customer-based and company-wide fund-raising effort to aid those affected by the disaster.

Denver division spokesman Jeff Stroh says more than 18-hundred stores in the United States and Canada have been set up to receive and process donations from shoppers during checkout.

Customers only need to give cashiers a dollar amount, and the donation is automatically added to shoppers' grocery bills.

Contributions will be forwarded to the American Red Cross and UNICEF.

Pleasanton, California-based Safeway is one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America.

The Safeway Foundation also plans to contribute independently to the charities, as well as match donations from Safeway employees.

Stroh says the fund-raising method had worked well previously, collecting (m) millions of dollars for victims of natural disasters, and the 2001 terrorist attacks.