Since Sept. 1, Kroger stores in the Savannah area have been collecting donations to help America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia replenish its food-bank shelves. According to the Hinesville store’s unit manager, Michael Landing, the donation drive, called a “round-up,” will end Saturday.
According to a Sept. 11 news release from Kroger’s Atlanta division, Second Harvest lost more than 1,000 pounds of food when the ceiling on its walk-in freezer collapsed during Labor Day weekend. Kroger’s director of communications and public-relations manager, Glynn Jenkins, said Second Harvest is a valuable part of the community, and he hopes Kroger’s customers will donate and give back to an organization that has given so much.
“We’ve partnered with Feedingamerica.org for a number of activities over the years,” said Jenkins, explaining Feeding America’s affiliation with the Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. “Feeding America is the country’s largest (domestic) hunger-relief organization.”
Jenkins, who has worked at Kroger for 32 years, said his organization actively takes part in a number of charitable projects. According to the website for Bringing Hope to the Table, which is sponsored by Kroger, more than $3 million is generated each year to fund local food banks like Second Harvest. In 2012, Kroger shoppers provided more than $10 million in food and cash donations for hunger relief, the site says.
Landing said Kroger responds to the needs of the community and in the past has helped collect donations for other charitable causes, including the American Cancer Society and the Children’s Miracle Network. He said the stores taking part in the current drive include stores down to Waycross.
Signs posted near each cash register in the Hinesville store note that if a cashier fails to ask a customer if he or she would like to make a “round-up” donation, the customer gets a free 2-liter soft drink. Other signs specifically talk about “round-up” being a way to help Second Harvest.
“If a customer’s order is $19.49, the cashier can punch in the numbers necessary to round up the order to the nearest dollar, which, in this case, would be $20,” said Landing, who explained they only round up, not down. “If the order is $19.01, it would still be rounded up to $20.”
Landing said customers who would like to make a more sizable donation can do that at the register. If a customer chooses to make a $10 donation, the cashier would add $10 to the order, he said.
He said on Sunday, store managers throughout the Savannah area will send their collections to the Atlanta division office, which then will send all donations to Second Harvest. Although Kroger also is planning to donate about $5,500 in food products like canned and dry goods, Landing said his store has not gotten any food donations and doesn’t have a collection box.
“When people are in need, Kroger likes to step up and help them,” Landing said.
For more information about Kroger, go to www.kroger.com. For more information about America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, go to www.helpendhunger.org.