RALEIGH, N.C., March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Food Lion associates and customers raised a record $4.5 million during their annual Shop&Care for Easter Seals, representing a 22 percent increase over last year. The grocer set a goal this year of $4 million for Easter Seals. Since Food Lion first initiated the Shop&Care program 21 years ago, the company has raised more than $33 million for Easter Seals. "We are pleased that our associates and customers joined together to raise a record-breaking $4.5 million, which we believe will make a tremendous impact in the lives of children and adults who live with disabilities," said Food Lion Senior Vice President James Egan. "Because of these efforts, more than 100,000 children, families and adults throughout 11 Easter Seals affiliates in the Southeast will benefit from our collective donations." The four-week program, which began Feb. 15 and closed March 13, ended with unprecedented results by setting a new corporate record for Food Lion. During the campaign, customers purchased Shop&Care products in stores and made $1 donations at checkout. In addition, associates also hosted various community events to benefit Easter Seals. Shop&Care began 21 years ago with Food Lion stores in North Carolina. During this year's Shop&Care program, over 32 million customers that shopped our stores in all Food Lion and Reid's stores along the East Coast were given the opportunity to support their local Easter Seals affiliate. Easter Seals also partnered with national-brand manufacturers to sponsor special in-store promotions on more than 200 products, contributing nearly $1.4 million to this year's campaign total. More than 1,100 stores participated in this year's Shop&Care program, which engages customers, associates, vendors and brokers. In addition to the in-store campaign, Food Lion also sponsored a $10,000 Shop&Care online challenge where supporters voted to help their local affiliate earn an additional gift from Food Lion. Easter Seals Central Pennsylvania had the most votes and will receive an extra $6,000 from Food Lion. Easter Seals South Carolina and Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia had the second and third highest votes and will receive an additional $3,000 and $1,000 respectively. "More and more consumers identify with a retailer who is also good corporate citizen. Food Lion is a deeply valued partner of Easter Seals, and they are making a tremendous impact in the lives of those we have the privilege of serving here in North Carolina and throughout our network of Easter Seals affiliates in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states where Food Lion operates," said C. L. Cochran, president and CEO of Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia. About Easter Seals Easter Seals is the leading, national non-profit provider of services for individuals living with autism, developmental, physical and mental disabilities and other special needs. For 90 years Easter Seals has offered help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities and to the families who love them. For more information, visit www.shopandcare.com. About Food Lion Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., is a subsidiary of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group (NYSE: DEG) and operates more than 1,100 supermarkets. The company employs approximately 57,000 associates delivering quality products, low prices and service to customers in 10 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. For more information, visit www.foodlion.com.