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Kroger has donated 175 million meals to Feeding America food banks since 2008

BY Michael Johnsen

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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Giant-Landover president resigns

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — Giant Food of Landover, Md., division president Anthony Hucker is leaving his position, effective Friday, parent company Ahold USA said Monday.

Ahold USA said Hucker was leaving to pursue another opportunity. Ahold USA EVP operations Bhavdeep Singh will oversee the Giant-Landover division on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is named, the company said.

Hucker was appointed president of Giant-Landover on October 2011, having previously worked at Walmart.

"We wish Anthony the very best," Ahold USA spokeswoman Tracy Pawelski told Drug Store News.

Giant-Landover operates 169 stores, including 155 supermarket pharmacies, in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia.


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Rite Aid fields insurance agents to help customers understand, enroll in Obamacare plans

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Starting next month, licensed insurance agents will be at nearly 2,000 Rite Aid stores for free consultations with customers about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, in conjunction with the start of enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

The health insurance exchanges are scheduled to launch on Oct. 1, and the company announced a set of new resources to help customers understand the healthcare-reform law and provide them with information they can use to help them make health insurance choices for themselves and their families, as well as advising customers about Medicaid eligibility in some states. Agents will be available to meet one-on-one with customers to answer questions about the law and help them compare plans based on individual needs, and customers will be able to enroll in a plan if they choose. Agents will not be available where state government marketplace restrictions prohibit them, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.

"As a trusted community healthcare provider, our customers look to us for help in making healthcare decisions for themselves and their families," Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley said. "With the implementation of the Health Insurance Marketplace, our customers will now have many new choices to make in the coming enrollment period. We know they will look to Rite Aid for information and guidance, and that’s why we’re providing free resources in store and online to help them better understand the new requirements and options available to them under the law." 

Standley will also appear with Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius at an event Monday morning in Hoboken, N.J., to announce the new program.


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