Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Kroger Co. Aiming to Raise $5 Million For Hunger Programs With Promotion and Campaign

Grocers Doing Good

Food and Grocery retailing company Kroger's two- week Bringing Hope to the Table chain-wide promotion and fundraising campaign to raise millions of dollars for Feeding America food banks across America is into its second week. The program started May 29 and ends June 11.

Kroger Co., which is the second-largest retailer of food and groceries in the U.S. after Walmart Stores, Inc., says its goal in the two-week campaign is to generate a whopping $4.5-$5 million worth of financial and food product donations for over 80 Feeding America food banks in regions and cities where its numerous grocery chains are located, including in California, Nevada and Arizona, where Tesco has its 175 Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores.

All of the retailer's grocery chains in California - Ralphs and Food 4 Less in Southern and Central California; Foods Co. in Northern California - Arizona - Fry's Food Stores - and Nevada - Smith's and Food 4 Less - are participating in the program and promotion, along with all its other divisions and chains located throughout the U.S. (Kroger's Los Angeles-based Food 4 Less chain also has stores in Illinois and Indiana.)
Vendor Partners

The May 29-June 11 promotion is a partnership between Kroger and a number of its vendors, including Kraft Foods, General Mills, Pepsi/Frito-Lay, Clorox Co. and others, including the brands and products pictured above.

How it works: Products from these consumer packaged goods companies are identified on shelves throughout the stores with the Bringing Hope to the Table yellow shelf talkers pictured below. When shoppers purchase these brands and items, the companies make a donation as part of Kroger's campaign to raise money for Feeding America and its local food banks.
Additionally, the participating vendors are also supporting the Kroger campaign financially by giving money when shoppers download certain digital coupons from Kroger's website, as you can see here.

Kroger Co. has also set up a special website (here) where individuals can locate and make a donation to their local Feeding America food bank, using the form on this page.

The two-week Bringing Hope to the Table promotion is part of Kroger's (and its associates) on-going campaign and commitment to raising money and food donations for Feeding America and it food bank network.

For example, in Southern California employees of Kroger's Ralphs' chain visit a local Feeding America food bank in San Diego twice each month to fill bags of food for the BackPacks program for children. The kids take the free backpacks filled with food home with them as a way to ensure there's enough food on the table, not only to bring them hope but to fill their stomachs and help keep them alert at school.

Additionally, each year on the weekend before the famous Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena, California, employees of Kroger's Ralphs' and Food 4 Less chains in Southern California participate in  "Operation Gobble Gobble," which is the city of Pasadena's annual holiday hunger outreach project.

The program annually provides full holiday meals for about 400 local families. The Ralphs' and Food 4 Less stores in Southern California donate turkeys, stuffing mix, vegetables and pumpkin pies for each of the meals. In addition, numerous associates volunteer their time along with other community members to fill the food boxes and distribute them to the participating food banks and pantries.

Employees at a number of Kroger's other U.S. grocery chains are donating their time to help the hungry just like the associates in Southern California are.

Ralphs' president Mike Donnelly says the Southern California food banks benefiting from the Bringing Hope to the Table campaign are: Feeding America San Diego; FIND (Indio); Food Bank of Santa Barbara County; Food Share (Oxnard); Los Angeles Regional Foodbank; Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County; and Second Harvest Food Bank Serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Last year Ralphs-Food 4 Less combined provided over $4 million in financial and food assistance to local food banks in the states and regions where its stores operate, according to Donnelly.

According to Kroger Co., all its chains combined provided about $11.5 million in financial assistance and more than 65 million pounds of food to local food banks in 2010.

Kroger Co. has also been operating a food rescue program since 2008, called the Perishable Donations Partnership (PDP). Under the program, the retailer's supermarket chains can donate fresh meat, produce, dairy and bakery items that can no longer be sold to local food banks.

Last year the PDP program resulted in millions of pounds of perishable food that otherwise would have been thrown away being donated by Kroger-owned chains to the food banks.

Last year, Kroger raised about $4 million - $3 million in cash and $1 million in food product donations - in its two-week Bringing Hope to the Table promotion and campaign. [Read our June 10, 2010 story here: Kroger Co. Launches Two-Week 'Bringing Hope to the Table' Campaign; Commits $4 Million to 'Feeding America'.]

Over the last decade Kroger Co. says it has donated the equivalent of 560 milon meals to food banks in the parts of the U.S. were its supermarket chains and stores operate.

That, and all the above, is an example of a "Grocer Doing Good" on a significant and meaningful scale.

Click here to learn more about Kroger's Bringing Hope to the Table campaign.
Below are a few facts about hunger and food insecurity in America from Feeding America:

>37 million American's don’t know where they'll get their next meal.
>14 million of them are children
>3 million of them are senior citizens.
>36% of these households have one or more working adults.
>48% of these households are in rural and suburban areas.

 Click here to learn more at Feeding America's website.

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