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DETROIT -- A Kroger supermarket here this morning became one of the first establishments in the country to accept the new $20 bill. The bill was introduced by the U.S. government and local leaders.
The new currency includes improved security features and subtle background colors of green, peach, and blue. Today marks the day banks begin receiving the new bills from the Federal Reserve System and in turn begin distributing them to their customers. It will take several days or even weeks for the bills to fully circulate through the community.
James Pieper, communications coordinator for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, made the first Detroit purchase with the new $20 note at the Kroger store at 14383 Gratiot Avenue.
"We are pleased to showcase the new $20 note in Detroit," said Pieper. "Not only is the new note vital to the local economy, but it's also important for Detroiters to be aware of the new changes that have been made to their money."
"Kroger has made it a priority to educate our cash handlers, making sure that they will be able to recognize the security features of the new bill," said Leonard Terranova, senior manager of public affairs for Kroger. "They are well prepared to handle all $20 notes, and we are honored to host the first Detroit transaction with this new bill."
The Detroit event was one of more than 30 that took place around the country, including events in New York and Washington, D.C. Tom Ferguson, director of the U.S. Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), and Marsha Reidhill, the Federal Reserve Board's assistant director for cash and fiscal agency, marked today's historic issue of the new $20 bill in New York's Times Square, where they spent the new bills at Times Square-area businesses.
The BEP and the Federal Reserve System have been educating the public worldwide about the new bills in professional and community settings, in preparation for a smooth transition this fall. Over 37 million items of training materials, such as brochures, posters, training videos, and CD-ROMS, have been ordered by businesses large and small to train their cash-handling employees on the bill's new look and updated security features. Additionally, there have been more than 2 million visits to the new money Web site (www.moneyfactory.com/newmoney) for information. The public education program continues globally with broadcast, print, Internet, and other public education advertising, and integration of the new money's look and security features will be featured in the story lines of television programs that reach millions of viewers.
New designs for the $50 and $100 notes are scheduled for introduction in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Different colors will be used for different denominations, which will help everyone -- particularly those who are visually impaired -- to tell them apart. Redesign of the $5 and $10 notes is under consideration, but the $1 and $2 notes will not be redesigned. Even after the new money is issued, older-design notes will remain legal tender.