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    Kroger Raises Millions for Disaster Relief

    Fundraising efforts continue as customers and employees give generously.

    The Kroger Co. said yesterday it raised $5.2 million to support The American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other organizations that are providing emergency relief in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    That figure is expected to grow even higher as the company's nearly 3,500 convenience stores and supermarkets continue accepting cash donations from customers and sponsor a wide variety of fundraising programs to benefit disaster relief efforts.

    "The generosity shown by Kroger's customers and employees across the country has been overwhelming," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger group vice president of corporate affairs. "They are showing their support for the victims and families of the attacks in a variety of ways, whether by 'rounding up' their grocery bill at checkout, dropping their extra change in Salvation Army kettles outside our stores or purchasing commemorative items for which the profits are donated to charity."

    Among the fundraising programs at Kroger retail divisions:
    * King Soopers stores in Colorado have sold more than 109,000 "United We Stand" T-shirts and hats for $10 each, with $7 from each sale going to relief efforts.
    * The Kroger division based in Houston has raised more than $250,000 by selling American Red Cross Flag Donation cards for $1 each.
    * The International Association of Firefighters parked fire trucks at Smith's stores in New Mexico to collect money for fallen firefighters and their families. Donations totaled $50,000.
    * Customers at 16 Baker's stores in Nebraska have donated more than 105,000 by "rounding up" their grocery bill at checkout.

    Kroger stores also have been helping local blood banks that have been overwhelmed by people wanting to donate blood. In Louisville, Ky. alone Kroger has donated water, juice and snacks for 10,000 blood donors and provided hot meals for hundreds of volunteers working at blood drives.

    Kroger owns and operates 788 convenience stores and 143 fueling centers at its 3,400 supermarkets.

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