business news in context, analysis with attitude

Food Safety News reports that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-New York) have “introduced legislation to combat 'food deserts' prevalent throughout urban and rural communities across the United States ... the legislation, entitled the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, would provide start-up grant and loan investments in some of the most marginalized communities in order to expand access to fresh food and create sustainable, well-paying jobs.”

• The Grand Rapids Press reports that “Meijer's latest pharmacy freebie is drawing praise from the medical community. The retailer is dispensing free doses of the most commonly-prescribed generic medications to treat Type 2 diabetes.Obtaining the immediate release form of metformin -- available in 100 tablets of 500mg, 850mg and 1,000mg -- will require a prescription.

The drug retails for $14-$42 for a month's supply, depending on the dosage prescribed, said Frank Guglielmi, spokesman for the Walker-based supercenter chain that has 191 stores across five states.”

• The Boston Globe this morning reports that Ahold-owned Stop & Shop “is meeting with employees today to update them on reorganization plans that will include consolidating some jobs and transferring positions to Carlisle, Pennsylvania ... No details are available yet on how many positions will be cut or moved to Pennsylvania, where the parent company Ahold USA is based.”

Dow Jones reports that even as Ahold looks for new growth opportunities in the US to build on its recent acquisition of Ukrop’s, the Netherlands-based company also is planning to enter the Belgium market using its Albert Heijn banner.

“We are looking if we can push over the border and use the logistic strength of our Dutch operation," CEO John Rishton told the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
KC's View: