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CINCINNATI — Kroger on Monday announced that the company has donated 175 million meals from fresh meat, produce, dairy and bakery items to Feeding America food banks since 2008 through its groundbreaking Perishable Donations Partnership.
"Kroger's No. 1 community priority is to support organizations that bring food and hope to our neighbors in need," stated Lynn Marmer, Kroger's group VP corporate affairs. "With one-in-six Americans unsure where their next meal will come from, our store associates are leading the charge to deliver fresh nutritious items like healthy fruits and vegetables to Feeding America's network of food banks."
The program has also enabled Kroger to divert more than 100,000 tons of waste away from landfills and incinerators.
As a founding partner of Feeding America, one of the nation's largest domestic hunger agencies, Kroger has been engaged in the hunger relief effort for more than 30 years. Today, the Kroger family of stores has longstanding relationships with more than 80 local food banks.
Perishable donations have steadily increased as a share of Kroger's total contributions to food banks. In 2012, Kroger donated the equivalent of 200 million meals in food and funds. The Perishable Donations Partnership contributed 40.8 million fresh meals to the total in 2012, up from 11.7 million in 2008.
"The Perishable Donations Partnership has rapidly become our most important source of food to help feed families struggling with hunger," noted Matt Knott, president of Feeding America. "Our retail donations program has grown in large part because Kroger opened its playbook to the rest of the industry and showed other retailers how it could be done."
Kroger's Fred Meyer division pioneered the Perishable Donations Partnership about nine years ago. Stores partnered with local food banks in the Pacific Northwest to collect fresh food and properly store it so it could be quickly shipped to reach hungry families. Kroger adopted Fred Meyer's model and worked with Feeding America to develop food safety and quality control standards, and trained associates to facilitate the program in their stores. Currently, 96% of the company's 2,419 supermarket stores participate in the program.
Kroger's announcement coincides with Hunger Action Month, Feeding America's month-long campaign to inspire individuals to take action to help end hunger in their communities.
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