CINCINNATI and LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced plans to bring together more than 4,800 associates, at the Kentucky Exposition Center on April 16, to assemble an estimated 17,000 emergency food and personal care boxes for the metro Louisville, KY community. The effort will represent the largest, one-day volunteer effort by a single company to support the Dare to Care Food Bank, Kroger's local Feeding America partner.
The event will take place during the Louisville community's second annual 'Give A Day' volunteer week of public service, April 13-21. In a recent press conference, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer cited Kroger's planned efforts as playing a prominent role in helping break the community's own 2012 "world record" of 90,000 volunteers and acts of compassion. The Kroger event alone will contribute an estimated 7,500 volunteer hours toward Mayor Fischer's goal for 2013.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in Louisville's 'Give A Day' public service week, and celebrate the variety of ways our stores across the country partner with local food banks," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs. "From fresh and non-perishable product donations, to thousands of hours of volunteering, to contributions of funds – feeding people is more than our job, it is our calling. Last year alone Kroger delivered the largest contribution of food and funds in our company history – the equivalent of nearly 200 million meals – to Feeding America and its local food banks."
"Louisville is very fortunate to have strong corporate citizens like Kroger," said Mayor Fischer. "Kroger has always found significant ways of giving back to this community – and we are so excited they are setting such a great example of community service and volunteering during this year's 'Give A Day' week of service – helping Louisville break its own world record for caring and compassion."
Kroger associates from all over the country will be gathering in Louisville for a Leadership Summit to discuss the company's growth strategy and Kroger's ongoing commitment to its customers, associates and the communities it serves. The public service event is consistent with the theme of the meeting, that Kroger associates, both individually and collectively, "Make a Difference" in the lives of their customers and their communities.
With a distribution network that includes more than 300 local food pantries, shelters and assistance organizations, Dare to Care Food Bank will be distributing the emergency food and personal care boxes to needy families throughout their 13-county metropolitan Louisville service area.
"This incredible donation comes at a time when the demand for food assistance has never been higher," said Brian Riendeau, Dare to Care Food Bank's Executive Director. "Unfortunately, there is a growing gap between the sources of donated food and the ultimate need we're seeing in our community. The Kroger donation will help thousands of struggling families."
The 8,500 emergency food boxes will be packed with 14 non-perishable pantry staples, such as peanut butter, pasta, canned fruits and vegetables, tuna fish, granola bars and cereal. According to calculation tables established by the USDA, the boxes will represent approximately 136,000 meals.
Many of the families requiring some type of food assistance are also in need of personal care and household supplies. Kroger will be packing an estimated 8,500 family boxes, containing shampoo, toothpaste, soap, laundry detergent, deodorant and other supplies. The total retail value of these boxes will be more than $212,000.
Kroger partners with Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, in its mission to feed the hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks, which includes Louisville's Dare to Care Food Bank.
Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,424 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 786 convenience stores, 328 fine jewelry stores, 1,169 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 160 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.