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CINCINNATI - The Kroger Co. on Wednesday announced it has been named "National Retailer of the Year" by America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization.
Kroger and its retail divisions were honored for their "outstanding support" of the member food banks across the country and the leading national hunger relief organization. Among the criteria used by the America's Second Harvest selection committee were product donations, technical assistance, funding, food drives and volunteer efforts. Local food bank members nominated Kroger for the award, which will be presented at the America's Second Harvest annual conference in Snowbird, Utah in late September.
Kroger's retail divisions work with more than 40 regional food banks around the country that are affiliated with Second Harvest. In 2001, the company's divisions, in conjunction with suppliers, donated 25 million pounds of food and products to Second Harvest. The donation, which was valued at $38 million, ranked as the largest in Kroger's history and reflected an increase of 6 million pounds from the previous year.
Last year, Kroger also expanded its partnership with America's Second Harvest through the "Grocery Alliance" program. Under this program, Kroger's retail divisions are working more closely with America's Second Harvest food banks and food-rescue organizations in their local communities to generate greater awareness of hunger relief programs, share best practices in raising food donations, and seek new donation opportunities through a variety of activities.
"In addition to being one of our top retail food donors, Kroger provides many of our affiliates with technical support, board member participation and supports our fund raising activities," said Bob Forney, America's Second Harvest president and CEO. "As the first retailer to become a Grocery Alliance partner, Kroger is working with us to design new and exciting hunger relief programs."