CINCINNATI, Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), today announced an innovative partnership that will bring free flu shots to thousands of eligible individuals.
Beginning today, Kroger is making free flu shot vouchers available to The Salvation Army and to Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger relief organization. Uninsured or underinsured shoppers in areas with a Kroger or a Kroger banner pharmacy such as City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's are eligible. Customers who wish to obtain a voucher should visit The Salvation Army or Feeding America food bank location in their community.
"The Salvation Army is delighted to partner with Kroger to help protect thousands of people who may not have access to a flu shot, including patients for whom cost may be an issue," said Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army.
Each year in the United States, on average 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 individuals are hospitalized from flu-related complications; and about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes. In its commitment to promote health and wellness, Kroger provides more than a million flu shots to families across the U.S. each year.
"Hunger is a public health issue at the end of the day, and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Kroger on this effort," said Maura Daly, Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Feeding America. "With the current economy and high unemployment, it is harder for families to afford health benefits. This partnership puts together nutritious food and flu shots which meets a common desire -- to keep our clients and customers healthy."
Kroger operates more than 1,900 pharmacies in 31 states. Kroger pharmacists and nurse practitioners will provide the flu shots in those stores. In addition, flu shot vouchers can be redeemed in The Little Clinic, health clinics that operate in 77 stores under the Kroger, Fry's and King Soopers banners.
"We're proud of the role our pharmacists and nurse practitioners play in keeping our customers healthy," said Lincoln Lutz, Vice President of Pharmacy. "Kroger has long partnerships with Feeding America and The Salvation Army and we're pleased we can work together again during the flu season to promote health and wellness through these free flu shot vouchers," continued Mr. Lutz.
Kroger, the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 334,000 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.