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Customers and associates of The Kroger Co. raised $9.4 million to support The Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle campaign during the 2007-2008 holiday season. The total represents an increase of 16 percent over the $8 million raised last year, and it contributed to the record $118 million raised by the Salvation Army overall.
Salvation Army officials praised Kroger for its long-standing commitment to helping those in need while commending it as "an essential retail partner." "We could not provide critical services to thousands of poor and underprivileged people in this country without the generous donations of time and money from Kroger customers and associates," said Major George Hood, Salvation Army spokesman.
As part of the chain's effort, kettles were placed in front of Kroger's family of stores in 31 states, which were staffed by Salvation Army volunteers, including many Kroger associates. The Salvation Army estimates that 25,000 bell ringers participate in the Red Kettle campaign annually. About 83 cents of every dollar is used on direct social services to people in need, well above the industry standard. All of the donations remain in the local community in which they were given.