Kroger Foundation donates food truck to Feeding America SW Virginia

First in Nation gift as part of Zero Hunge Zero Waste

The Kroger Foundation has donated a new food truck to meet a crisis need of Feeding America Southwest Virginia. The new Kenworth 26’ refrigerated box truck was unveiled at the Bonsack Kroger on November 17 for its inaugural run picking up food from Kroger and delivering it to the Food Bank. The Kroger Foundation grant was approximately $133,000 for the truck, accessories and first year of insurance costs.

“The truck is the first to be donated from the Kroger Foundation across the nation as part of the Company’s new initiative, Zero Hunger Zero Waste,” said Allison McGee, corporate affairs manager of Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic Division. “When the Food Bank informed us of the crisis, we knew this was an ideal opportunity for the Kroger Foundation to demonstrate its commitment to end hunger in southwest Virginia,”

“We found ourselves in a dire situation when our old truck broke down and could not be repaired,” added Pamela Irvine, CEO of Feeding America Southwest Virginia. “Without the truck, our ability to pick up food for the hungry was reduced tremendously.

“Kroger came through for us as they have time after time for years,” added Irvine. “In Southwest Virginia, we’re fortunate to have a company that cares for the community as Kroger does.”

Launched in September, Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative is a national effort aimed at ending hunger in the communities Kroger calls home and eliminating waste across the country by 2025. “No family in a community we serve should ever go hungry, and no food in a store we operate should ever go to waste,” said J.T. Harp, vice president of Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic Division. Kroger operates 23 stores in southwest Virginia from the Roanoke Valley to Bristol.

“More than 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes unconsumed each year, while one in eight people struggle with hunger,” added Harp. “Kroger is going to change that starting here and now.”

In 2016, Kroger donated 1.2 million meals through Feeding America Southwest Virginia. Kroger gave the Food Bank more than 1.4 million pounds of food. Kroger also sponsors food drives throughout the year and gives clothing to the needy through the Food Bank.

Kroger serves the Food Bank in other ways. The company donated $70,000 to create the Kroger Volunteer Training Center. Kroger sponsors a program for deliveries and pickups of food through its distribution partner, Atlas Logistics. Kroger outfitted the Kroger Reclamation Center to process nonperishable goods and donated food.

Feeding America Southwest Virginia, with distribution centers in Salem and Abingdon, channeled more than $28 million worth of food and grocery related products through a network of 332 partner feeding programs in its 26-county, 9-city region that provide food or meals to those in need. The agency says approximately 150,000 people in southwest Virginia struggle to have enough food to eat.