CINCINNATI, July 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) proudly extends its partnership with the USO during the July 4th holiday weekend to celebrate and thank the men and women of the armed forces and their families.
Customers and associates at all locations of the Kroger family of stores are invited to show their appreciation for our military families by donating spare change in specially-marked coin boxes at check stands, or by rounding up their purchases at registers. All of the funds raised will support the broad range of programs and services the USO provides to service members and their families.
“Without essential partners like Kroger, it would be impossible for the USO to fulfill its mission of lifting the spirits of our men and women in uniform and their families,” said USO President Sloan Gibson. “This campaign is a wonderful way for Americans to show their gratitude and say thank you to those who sacrifice every day for our freedom.”
“As we celebrate our freedoms this national holiday weekend, it is fitting that we thank our service members and their families for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis for all Americans,” said Lynn Marmer, group vice president of Corporate Affairs for Kroger. “We are honored to partner with the USO to support our troops and their families.”
The in-store activity is one element of Honoring Our Heroes, Kroger’s year-long initiative that is expected to raise $1 million to support the USO’s mission to support our troops, their families and our veterans. A special website, www.honoringourheroes.com, allows visitors to share photos or send messages of support to their own military heroes.
In recognition of the USO’s 70th Anniversary in 2011, participating stores will offer a limited number of commemorative reusable shopping bags, with proceeds benefitting the organization. In addition, The Little Clinic locations in Kroger family stores will help support families in uniform by donating $1 to the USO for each sports physical provided during July and August, the busiest time of year for the exams.
Kroger’s partnership with the USO was announced at the Daytona 500 last February. During that race, the #47 Kroger-USO car, driven by NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte, featured a special Kroger emblem that included the names of more than 350 Kroger associates who are active duty or reservist members of the U.S. military.
In May, Kroger provided $250,000 to the USO in conjunction with a special sales program in stores with supplier partner Procter & Gamble.
A private, nonprofit organization, the USO provides programs, services and entertainment events to enhance the quality of life for America’s military personnel and their families. Currently, the USO operates more than 160 locations in 14 countries (including the U.S.) and 27 states.
Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 338,000 associates who serve customers in 2,449 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 785 convenience stores, 359 fine jewelry stores, 1,035 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 www.kroger.com.
About the USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.
The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. In addition to individual donors and other corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners: American Airlines, AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission and to learn more about the USO, please visit www.uso.org.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.