More than 12.5 million families face hunger and malnutrition in America and look to local food pantries to provide their essential food items. And while milk is one of the most requested items, it is also one of the least-donated items, creating a milk gap.
The Kroger Co. is teaming up with the Great American Milk Drive to support Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger agency, during Hunger Action Month. Through the end of September, the Kroger Family of Stores is inviting customers to 'Pour It Forward' by purchasing a $1, $3 or $5 milk voucher donations when checking out. All donations collected will benefit local food banks affiliated with Feeding America, which will provide free milk coupons to their clients.
"Kroger customers and associates have always embraced opportunities to help their neighbors in need," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs. "Through our 'Pour It Forward' campaign, we are adding a new way for our customers, associates and company to support local food banks by offering them access to an important food -- fresh and wholesome milk."
Approximately 95% of food banks reported they do not receive enough milk to meet their clients' needs. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends adults drink 68 gallons of milk each year, Feeding America's clients receive only 1 gallon of milk per person, per year, on average.
Kroger's 'Pour It Forward' campaign is part of the Great American Milk Drive, the first-ever national program to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry families. The Milk Processor Education Program, National Dairy Council and Feeding America partnered to launch the Great American Milk Drive in April 2014.
As a founding partner of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger agency, Kroger has been engaged in the hunger relief effort for more than 30 years. Today, the Kroger family of stores has longstanding relationships with more than 100 local food banks.
Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs more than 375,000 associates who serve customers in 2,640 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 786 convenience stores, 320 fine jewelry stores, 1,240 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners.