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Kroger lauded for generosity
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At a time when many companies are downsizing and looking for ways to trim budgets, some have stepped forward to donate a significant chunk of their profits to charity. The Kroger Co. was recently named No. 1 in a Chronicle of Philanthropy listing detailed in Forbes Magazine that recognizes American companies that give back the most.
During 2009, Kroger contributed 10.9 percent of its $589 million pre-tax profits—or $64 million—to charity.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy helped Forbes compile two lists—one list includes companies donating pre-tax profits, with the second list based on raw numbers. In the article spotlighting the lists, Forbes staff member Susan Adams, who authored the article, commented:
“The one (list) we think is most meaningful: The companies that are most generous in their cash donations as a percentage of pre-tax profits. Kroger tops that list.”
Lynn Marmer, vice president of corporate affairs for The Kroger Co., said $40 million of Kroger’s cash contributions flow through its 15-year-old Kroger Community Rewards program, which either allows shoppers with Kroger Plus Cards to funnel dollars based on their purchases to designated charities, or lets customers shop with Kroger gift cards tied to their favorite charity. During 2011, Kroger will contribute over $1 million to participating organizations in Middle Tennessee through this program.
“Kroger is extremely honored to be recognized at the top of this national charitable giving ranking,” said John Hackett, president of the Mid South Kroger Division which includes Middle Tennessee. “Giving back to the communities we serve is a priority for our company. We are pleased to be able to conduct campaigns throughout the year that benefit local hunger relief efforts, youth organizations and health and wellness initiatives.”
Kroger has a number of other charitable giving programs in the Middle Tennessee area, which are detailed below:
• In 2010, Kroger distributed more than 780,000 meals to help feed the hungry through partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and their affiliate agencies. In addition, Kroger partnered with customers and associates to contribute $137,000 in cash to Second Harvest in 2010.  
• Through its Perishable Donation Program, Kroger stores donate fresh bakery, meat, and other items to Second Harvest Food Bank on an ongoing basis, providing much-needed protein and nutritional variety. The Kroger donations reinforce the food banks’ goal to provide fresh, nutritious items to improve the diets of individuals and families.
• Kroger teamed with customers and associates to contribute over $140,000 to breast cancer related programs and charities such as Komen Nashville Race for the Cure, American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, The Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition, and The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation.
• Kroger’s Food Angel Tree program for the Salvation Army contributed $294,000 or 11,760 meals to Angel Tree families during last year’s holiday season. Kroger also continues to welcome Salvation Army Bell Ringers to their stores and last year, right at $275,000 was raised through this program at area Kroger stores.
• Some additional Middle Tennessee charities supported by Kroger include Boys and Girls Club, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Association, Special Olympics, Oasis Center, Pencil Foundation’s Pencil Partner Program, and Habitat for Humanity.
“We are proud of our ranking in the Chronicle of Philanthropy tally, and we will continue to be committed to charitable giving in our communities,” Hackett said.
For more information about Kroger’s charitable giving efforts, visit

About Kroger
Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 338,000 associates who serve customers in 2,458 supermarkets and multi-department 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. The Company also operates 786 convenience stores, 361 fine jewelry stores, 1,014 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S.
Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, and local organizations in the communities it serves. For more information about Kroger, please visit