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Class Action Settlement Monies to Feed Hungry Kids

This is a settlement for the Antitrust lawsuit.

Reno, NV: The $25 million settlement of a nationwide class action brought against vitamin companies that allegedly cheated customers through illegal price fixing, will be used to help fund food banks and feed hungy elementary school children in Nevada, according to state officials.

Nevada was one of 22 states to join a suit filed in November 2009 against a list of vitamin manufacturers that had united to fix the prices of vitamins they sold, said Edie Cartwright, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office. The pricing conspiracy forced consumers to pay higher costs on certain vitamins between 1988 and 2000, she said. The settlement was reached in the multi-state class action last December.

The monies will help people in need in both the north and south of Nevada, said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. Northern Nevada will receive more than $42,250 of the settlement which will be used to fill 9,000 backpacks given to children who are chronically hungry, said Jocelyn Lantrip, a spokeswoman for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.

"One third of the children in Washoe County don't have enough to eat," Lantrip said. "There's a significant need." According to Lantrip, the funds will enable the Food Bank to increase its distribution from the current 700 bags per week to 1,000 per week. The bags include shelf-stable milk, cereal, one-dish meals they can serve themselves, pop-top cans and other items aimed at providing balanced nutrition, Lantrip said. The food bank started the school backpack several years ago to help children who were "in transition," meaning they were homeless or living in motels, she said. Last year they expanded the program to include more children, Lantrip said.

A larger portion of the settlement, $126,000, will go to the Three Square Food Bank, which serves Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln and Nye counties, Masto said.

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Published on Oct-12-10


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