Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How Krogering Helps Your Community

Whitney Hare

It's one of those inevitable things, every week, or possibly every two or three weeks, you load up into the car and go shopping for groceries. You very rarely hear about it being anyone’s favorite job, but a necessary job no less. So if you could help your local community by going shopping, would you choose that store over another? Would you shop more often if your necessity, helped others?

The Kroger Company has been around for 125 years. They have 320,000 employees and it’s those very employees who have come up with countless ways to give back to their communities. At Ohio University’s first ever Kroger Day, Marnette Perry, Kroger Senior Vice President spoke to students about not only the importance of running a good business, but the importance of remembering others and providing to them.

Second Harvest
One of Kroger’s biggest charities is Second Harvest. Second Harvest was established in 1979, today is distributes two billion pounds of food each year. Kroger is active in sending food to Second Harvest each and every week. Kroger has been named “Retailer of the Year” by Second Harvest five times in the past seven years because of their generous donations. Ms. Perry says the act of giving back to the community is one of the most important values of the Kroger Company. With the help of companies like Kroger, Second Harvest is able to feed 25 million people every year.

Marnette Perry discusses Second Harvest and Kroger partnership

United Way
Another group Kroger is active with is the United Way. Kroger, with the help of its customers has donated around $5.5 million to the United Way. The United Way is focused on goals of improving education, income and health. Kroger works with the United Way to improve the lives for the people in their communities. Many Kroger employees give personally to the United Way, along with the help of customers. According to Marnette Perry, with efforts like change boxes at the checkouts, customers have given around $ 2.5 million. “I can remember when I gave my first donation and it was to United Way, when I was just a cashier.”

Kroger has a history of giving to United Way

Ms. Perry also mentioned the fact that the Kroger Company is not only focused on donations, but helping the environment as well. With new renovations and new buildings, the Kroger Company is focused on sustainability. The new Kroger in Athens received a million dollars in renovations. When it came time to make those updates, eco-friendly products were a requirement. With the effort to become more energy efficient, the Kroger Company is not only looking out for the communities' current well being, but the well being of the future as well.

Local Products
Besides helping national groups, Kroger reaches out to the people of their local communities as well. Here in Athens, store manager Dave Schull, says selling the products of local producers helps everyone. “We've got a large 24 foot section of local products that employ local people to make it that are local people producing the foods, and they're just trying to see if these products work in our store or other stores in the community.”

Kroger carries local Athens products

The Kroger Company Foundation was started to oversee Kroger's charitable giving. Since it’s creation in 1987, it has grants, support, and donations, to the communities that sustain the company. To learn how you can get involved in Kroger’s efforts to help other, visit their website.

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