DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. — EarthGrains, a Sara Lee brand, will make a $100,000 contribution to The Nature Conservancy to support the protection of the world’s lands and waters as part of a relationship beginning this month and running through April 2010. The partnership will include local market events, consumer education efforts and the inclusion of The Nature Conservancy logo and information on EarthGrains product packages.

"The Nature Conservancy is a perfect fit for EarthGrains as we look to help protect the lands where our grains are grown," said Tim Zimmer, vice-president of marketing for EarthGrains brand bread. "Consumers love and trust the EarthGrains brand because of its 100% natural, great-tasting ingredients and whole grain nutrition. Our donation to The Nature Conservancy reflects our interest in ensuring we have high-quality grains for years to come."

As part of its partnership, EarthGrains, which is known for its 100% whole grain, 100% natural line of bread introduced in 2007, will debut new packaging on select products that includes information about its support of The Nature Conservancy, the organization’s logo and its mission.

In addition, EarthGrains will make in-store promotional materials available to consumers along with branded store events in select markets. Consumers who participate will receive a free reusable shopping bag with their EarthGrains purchase that may be used for future grocery store trips to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags.

Earthgrains will also support a variety of local efforts in Earth Month 2009 to educate the public about the importance of land preservation and restoration.

"The EarthGrains donation will help The Nature Conservancy continue its programs, enabling us to preserve healthy ecosystems that support people and host the diversity of life on Earth," said Valerie Dorian, director of marketing, The Nature Conservancy. "The EarthGrains relationship also gives us the opportunity to share our message in a unique and meaningful way."

More information is available at the EarthGrains web site, and The Nature Conservancy web site,