Lifeway Honors Chicago Developer Jay Michael With Sponsorship of Probiotic Kefir Treats at Northwestern Medicine®

Kefir Company Brings Frozen Soft-Serve Kefir to Oncology Patients for the Next 10 Years

Morton Grove, Illinois, UNITED STATES

MORTON GROVE, Ill., Jan. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lifeway Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:LWAY), the leading U.S. supplier of kefir cultured dairy products, announced today their donation to Northwestern Medicine® to fulfill the wishes of former oncology patient Jay Michael by providing nutritious, all-natural frozen kefir to inpatients at Prentice Women’s Hospital. The kefir will provide patients with a nutritious treat that is cooling, refreshing and may help rebalance gut flora while they undergo treatment.

Over the next ten years, Lifeway will donate 100 percent of the kefir product and cups to Prentice, which will serve over 100 patients daily. The soft-serve machine that will dispense the kefir was purchased through a monetary donation made by Mr. Michael, a Lifeway fan and advocate for healthy living. Jay Michael, 34, passed away on January 8, 2016 after a yearlong battle with Stage IV Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. He chronicled his fight in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Having known Jay for much of my life, I’m personally heartbroken with the news of his passing. Our family has known the Michael family for over 25 years and we extend our deepest sympathies to his loved ones. He was one of the hardest working young entrepreneurs in the city – you couldn’t keep his spirit down. In between his doctor appointments and treatments, he was working to make sure all patients could enjoy kefir like he did. He blew me away,” said Lifeway CEO Julie Smolyansky. “He was generous and thoughtful; he loved life and found joy in the mundane. He always found ways to reinvent himself and in the process, he inspired everyone around him to be better. This partnership is a gift from Jay to anyone fighting a battle with cancer. We’re proud to help implement his vision and only wish he could be here to see others receiving the benefits of probiotics. This is just one small way his legacy will live on."

“Northwestern Medicine is very grateful to Jay Michael and his family for making this generous donation possible,” said Stephen Falk, president of the Northwestern Memorial Foundation. “This thoughtful gift will benefit our cancer patients at Prentice during a time when an additional comfort, like frozen kefir, can make a real difference in their day.”

The machine will be up and running within the next three weeks and feature signage identifying Lifeway Foods as the provider of the kefir and Jay Michael as the provider of the machine. A grand opening ceremony will take place to mark the beginning of service.

About Lifeway Foods, Inc.

Lifeway Foods, Inc. (LWAY), recently named one of Forbes’ Best Small Companies, is America’s leading supplier of the probiotic fermented beverage known as kefir. In addition to its line of drinkable kefir, the company also produces frozen kefir, specialty cheeses and a ProBugs line for kids. Lifeway’s tart and tangy cultured dairy products are now sold across the United States, Canada, Latin America and the United Kingdom. Learn how Lifeway is good for more than just you at

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