Kroger oversees massive charitable initiative in Louisville

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Thursday announced plans to bring together more than 4,800 associates at the Kentucky Exposition Center on April 16 to assemble an estimated 17,000 emergency food and personal care boxes for the metro community of Louisville, Ky.

According to calculation tables established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the boxes will represent approximately 136,000 meals. Kroger also will be packing an estimated 8,500 family boxes containing shampoo, toothpaste, soap, laundry detergent, deodorant and other supplies. The collective retail value of these boxes will be more than $212,000.

The effort will represent the largest, one-day volunteer effort by a single company to support the Dare to Care Food Bank, Kroger's local Feeding America partner.

The event will take place during the Louisville community's second annual 'Give A Day' volunteer week of public service, April 13 to 21. In a recent press conference, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer cited Kroger's planned efforts as playing a prominent role in helping break the community's own 2012 "world record" of 90,000 volunteers and acts of compassion. The Kroger event alone will contribute an estimated 7,500 volunteer hours toward Fischer's goal for 2013.

"Last year … Kroger delivered the largest contribution of food and funds in our company history — the equivalent of nearly 200 million meals — to Feeding America and its local food banks," stated Lynn Marmer, Kroger's group VP corporate affairs. 

With a distribution network that includes more than 300 local food pantries, shelters and assistance organizations, Dare to Care Food Bank will be distributing the emergency food and personal care boxes to needy families throughout their 13-county metropolitan Louisville service area. 

"This incredible donation comes at a time when the demand for food assistance has never been higher," said Brian Riendeau, Dare to Care Food Bank's executive director.