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As the country celebrates Veterans Day, The Kroger Co. announced it cumulatively contributed $3.2 million to the USO during 2013, raised through the grocer's Honoring Our Heroes sales event in May and customer contributions collected at check stands through the summer and fall.
"Kroger is honored and privileged to support our service men and women through our partnership with the USO," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger's group VP for corporate affairs. "And we are humbled by the generosity our customers have shown through their participation in Kroger's Honoring Our Heroes campaign and by donating spare change or rounding up their purchases at cash registers."
The Kroger family of stores, in partnership with customers, associates and vendors, has donated $8.4 million to the USO since 2010.
All funds raised support the broad range of programs and services the USO provides to service members, their families, wounded, ill and injured troops, and veterans. A private, nonprofit organization, the USO provides programs, services and entertainment events to enhance the quality of life for America's military personnel and their families wherever they serve.
Kroger is also committed to hiring veterans. Since 2009, more than 21,200 veterans have joined the company. Last year, Kroger joined more than 90 other companies in the "100,000 Jobs Mission." The program has a collective goal of hiring more than 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020.
Kroger also makes it easy to support the troops online, where customers can volunteer with the USO, make a donation or write a note to a service member.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,418 supermarkets and multidepartment 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.