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Forbes: Kroger Number One Among America’s Most Generous Companies

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NOVI (WWJ) – At a time when many companies are downsizing and looking for ways to trim budgets, some have stepped forward to donate a significant chunk of their profits to charity. The Kroger Co. was recently named number one in a Chronicle of Philanthropy listing detailed in Forbes Magazine that recognizes American companies that give back the most.

During 2009, Kroger contributed 10.9 percent of its $589 million pre-tax profits—or $64 million—to charity.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy helped Forbes compile two lists — one list includes companies donating pre-tax profits with the second list based on raw numbers.

In the article spotlighting the lists, Forbes staff member Susan Adams, who authored the article, commented “The one (list) we think is most meaningful: The companies that are most generous in their cash donations as a percentage of pre-tax profits. Kroger tops that list.”

Lynn Marmer, vice president of corporate affairs for The Kroger Co., said $40 million of Kroger’s cash contributions flow through its 15-year-old Kroger Community Rewards program, which allows shoppers with Kroger Plus Cards to funnel dollars based on their purchases to designated charities.

During 2011, Kroger Michigan will contribute $2 million to participating organizations through this program.

“Kroger is extremely honored to be recognized at the top of this national charitable giving ranking,” Rick Going, president of Michigan’s Kroger Division, said in a release. “Giving back to the communities we serve is a priority in every Kroger Division, including the Michigan Division. We conduct many campaigns throughout the year that benefit local hunger relief efforts, youth organizations and health and wellness initiatives.”

Kroger Michigan has a number of other charitable giving programs:

• In 2010, Kroger’s Michigan Division distributed more than 8 million meals to help feed the hungry through partnerships with Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. In addition, Kroger partnered with customers and associates to contribute $628,192 to these organizations.

• Through its Perishable Donation Program, Kroger stores donate fresh bakery, meat, fruits and vegetables to Michigan food banks on an ongoing basis, providing much-needed protein and nutritional variety. The Kroger donations reinforce the food banks’ goal to provide fresh, nutritious items to improve the diets of individuals and families.

• Kroger teamed up with customers and associates to contribute $420,037 to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society in 2010 to help fund life-saving cancer research.

• Kroger’s Michigan Division enhanced its education/diversity, good neighbor and health/wellness initiatives through community partnerships and consumer programs, donating more than $1.98 million in 2010. Beneficiaries of these initiatives included hundreds of schools, the Ted Lindsay Foundation for Autism, 4-H, USO, Easter Seals, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Lupus Alliance, the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign and other local charities and institutions.

For more information about Kroger’s charitable giving efforts, visit www.kroger.com.

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