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CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. yesterday was 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.
An award will be presented to Kroger officials at the America's Second Harvest annual conference in Snowbird, Utah next month.
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 was valued at $38 million.
Kroger operates 780 convenience stores and 2,429 supermarkets, including 268 supermarket fuel centers.
"Kroger is proud to support America's Second Harvest in providing emergency food assistance to millions of hungry people," said Joseph Pichler, Kroger's chairman and chief executive. "Over the past year, our retail divisions and associates have been working harder than ever to support their local food banks through a broad array of community outreach programs and fundraising events. By partnering with America's Second Harvest, we can help ensure that donations made by our customers and our stores reach needy families in those communities."
America's Second Harvest provided emergency food assistance to more than 23 million hungry Americans last year, including 9 million children and more than 2 million seniors.