RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 16, 2017 – The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer with 14 stores throughout the Triangle and North Carolina, announced its mid-Atlantic division donated millions in vouchers and donations to Feeding America food banks, philanthropic organizations, and Hurricane Matthew relief efforts during 2016. Annually, Kroger contributes more than $280 million in food and funding to support its communities nationwide.
Together with its partners, the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina, Yelp, BASF and Junior League of Fayetteville, Kroger helped organize the 2016 ABC11 Together Food Drive. The food drive collected 1,024,961 meals, more than two times its original goal of 500,000 meals. Kroger stores throughout the Triangle accepted food drive items such as canned soups, rice, cereals, pastas, sauces and more for families in need. Kroger’s support of this drive spans over twenty years, and donations exceed $1 million to support hunger relief efforts in our local communities.
As a founding member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest network of food banks reaching 46 million needy people, Kroger works daily with a network of 100 local food banks to fight hunger and provide for its community. Each year, Kroger’s Bringing Hope to the Table campaign generates $3 million to fund Feeding America food bank operations across the nation, allowing each partner to reach more hungry men, women and children. During the 2016 holiday season, Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division donated over $125,000 to local food banks in close proximity to its stores through the campaign, including nearly $9,000 contributed to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina on behalf of Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division. In addition, the Mid-Atlantic division donated over 80,000 pounds of perishable goods to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina throughout 2016.
In a continuing effort to end hunger, Kroger offered customers several opportunities to contribute to food banks. In December, Kroger urged participation in the “Picture Your Plate” challenge. Customers were urged to take a photo of their plates with food items and to share it with the hashtag #PictureYourPlate on social media. Kroger agreed to donate 1,000 meals per photo shared, providing up to 3.3 million meals by the end of 2016. In addition, Feeding America and Kroger Pharmacies partnered in an effort to donate meals to local food banks. For every flu shot administered at Kroger pharmacies or The Little Clinic locations, Kroger donated one meal to the Feeding America network of food banks. In June, Kroger supported the food bank’s local Chef’s Feast dinner, an exclusive event to support the local community by fighting hunger. Kroger donated all of the food for the event, totaling $10,000. $112,000 was raised, which equates to 560,000 meals that were donated to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Kroger’s fourth annual Fill The Bus event in August collected 3,927 pounds of food that was also donated to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. The Durham Area Transit Authority partnered with Kroger to allow customers to donate items (including nonperishables) to help less fortunate members of the local community.
In September, Kroger hosted its 3rd Annual Pour it Forward initiative for Hunger Action Month, a campaign held by Feeding America. Feeding America partners with The Great American Milk Drive, the first nationwide program dedicated to delivering nutrient-rich milk to hungry families, to provide milk products to its network of food banks. Historically, milk is rarely donated to food banks because it is perishable, and most food banks provide less than one gallon of milk per person annually. To combat this statistic, Kroger encouraged its customers to donate $1, $3 or $5 at its checkout lines. Each donation aided the effort to deliver milk and was given directly to Feeding America food banks servicing the area in which the donation was made. This year, over $8,000 was collected by Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division to provide milk vouchers to food banks through The Great American Milk Drive.
Authorities from the North Carolina Department of Safety estimate flooding due to Hurricane Matthew caused $1.5 billion in damages and losses in North Carolina. Kroger teamed up with the American Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina, providing over $60,000 in funds and goods to aid the relief effort across local food banks, American Red Cross relief stations and the state’s affected areas. The company’s 14 North Carolina stores contributed a tractor-trailer truck of snacks and supplies valued at $25,000 that was hand delivered to impacted areas. Kroger also provided $20,000 in gift cards and $2,000 in water to Gleaning for the World, a nonprofit disaster relief company servicing 55 countries across the globe. With help from Kroger and other charitable organizations, the American Red Cross was able to provide 111 emergency response vehicles, over 35,000 overnight stays in shelters and nearly 825,000 meals and snacks to those in need after Hurricane Matthew.
In lieu of the holiday season, Kroger rewarded approximately 25,000 users of its 1-2-3 Rewards Visa card by mailing checks totaling more than $550,000. 1-2-3 Rewards customers receive points for buying Kroger brand products, and the points translate into a reward check at the end of each quarter. This year’s highest reward check totaled nearly $550.
Kroger will continue to support and build campaigns centered around one of its biggest initiatives and efforts, fighting hunger, throughout 2017. Kroger’s commitment to its customers and the communities it serves is unwavering, and its intention to end hunger will continue, one meal at a time.
“Since its inception, Kroger has been synonymous with charity due to its commitment to philanthropy and serving its community through funding and hands-on volunteer efforts,” said Anne Jenkins, advertising and public relations manager for Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic region. “2016 has been especially difficult for North Carolinians due to Hurricane Matthew and the increasingly prevalent concern of hunger in our state. Kroger recognizes the need of its neighbors and customers, and we strive to provide the necessities to those in need when it’s required most. Together with the assistance of our loyal customers and our philanthropic partners, Kroger is able to donate fresh products to food banks and combat hunger everyday.”
About Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic Division:
The Mid-Atlantic Division operates 121 stores, 118 pharmacies and 92 fuel centers in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. Headquartered in Roanoke, the Mid-Atlantic Division is dedicated to making a difference in the communities it serves by supporting hunger relief, women’s health, our troops and their families, and local schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger is also a strong supporter of the Salvation Army, American Red Cross and organizations that promote the advancement of women and minorities. In 2016 Kroger’s charitable giving is $287 million. Fortune magazine named Kroger the “most generous company in America.” For more information, visit www.kroger.com.
Contact: Danni Dichito