CINCINNATI, Feb. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and the USO are expanding their partnership with a new campaign to support men and women in the armed forces and their families.
As part of the Daytona 500 celebration on Sunday, Feb. 20, Kroger will launch a year-long initiative to raise funds for members of our armed forces in partnership with the USO, the leading organization for morale-boosting programs and services for American troops and their families. The campaign will include in-store and online promotions and a text-to-give campaign that encourages Kroger customers to text "USO" to 27722 during the race to donate $10 to USO programs.
Kroger will also present a $400,000 donation to the USO on Sunday. These funds were collected in 2010 from customers and associates at nearly 1,300 Kroger-operated supermarkets across the country, including Kroger, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Dillon's and Baker's stores. This donation will support USO programs serving members of the military, wounded warriors and their families.
"This is an exciting time for the USO as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of lifting the spirits of America's troops and their families," said USO President Sloan Gibson. "We're committed to providing the wide array of services needed to support our troops and their families, so we're thrilled to join this partnership with Kroger."
Kroger and USO executives will be joined at the Daytona 500 celebration by Juan Cortes, a Kroger associate and Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
"Lt. Commander Cortes is one of hundreds of men and women who have served in the armed forces while working for Kroger," said Lynn Marmer, group vice president of Corporate Affairs for Kroger. "On behalf of our Kroger family, we thank all of our associates in the military for their service to our country, our communities and our company. We are eager to work with the USO this year to support even more men and women who serve with courage and honor."
As a special tribute to its associates in the military, Kroger, the USO and JTG Daugherty Racing will unveil a special Kroger emblem on the red, white and blue #47 Kroger-USO car, driven by NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte. This emblem features the names of more than 350 Kroger associates who are active duty or reservist members of the U.S. military.
"It is such a privilege to be able to have a small part in thanking the men and women in uniform for the service they provide to our country and communities to keep us safe," Labonte said. "I'm proud to carry the USO logo on our Toyota Camry. It's pretty special for all of us at JTG Daugherty Racing to be able to do that thanks to Kroger and all of our partners behind this program."
Kroger is the exclusive retail partner for the Daytona 500. Learn more about special in-store and online Daytona 500 promotions at Kroger and its family of stores at www.kroger.com.
Traditionally known for entertaining and assisting troops when in transit, in recent years USO programs have broadened to support families at home and returning troops. To learn about the USO's mission to support men and women in uniform – Until Every One Comes Home® – please visit www.uso.org.
About the USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America's troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.
The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. In addition to individual donors and other corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners: American Airlines, AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission and to learn more about the USO, please visit www.uso.org.
Kroger, the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 338,000 associates who serve customers in 2,461 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 784 convenience stores, 375 fine jewelry stores, 954 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S. Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, and local organizations in the communities it serves. For more information about Kroger, please visit www.kroger.com.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.