ROANOKE, Va. — Foodbanks in Hampton Roads are getting the support it needs to help fight hunger, and two large food companies are working together to make this possible.
Kroger and Kraft Heinz teamed up to donate $50,000 to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. This was split up evenly between both foodbanks, with each receiving $25,000.
“This donation will allow our food bank partners in Hampton Roads to get hundreds of thousands of meals to individuals fighting hunger in the Hampton Roads community,” said Allison McGee, Corporate Affairs Manager at Kroger Mid-Atlantic. “We’re so glad we can join forces with Kraft Heinz on this donation.”
Kroger has a 'Zero Hunger Zero Waste' initiative, in which the donations are a part of. This program was created to not only fight hunger but to also put an end to waste in the area.
"We look forward to partnering with Kroger on this donation each year," said Steven Froemming, Customer Retail Manager with Kraft Heinz. "We know these dollars will make an impact for the people who need it most."
Officials said this is the third year in a row that Kroger and Kraft Heinz have partnered in the month of December to donate $50,000 in Hampton Roads.
“Our grocery partners have been an integral part of our mission to eliminate hunger for the families we serve in Southeastern Virginia and on the Eastern Shore,” said Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols, President and CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. “As food insecurity rates continue to rise and new faces appear at our distribution sites due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this continued support from Kroger and Kraft Heinz comes at a critical time, and we are grateful for their shared interest in serving our most vulnerable neighbors.”
Kroger said it runs 16 stores in the area and has given 538,258 pounds of fresh food in its food rescue plan to the Foodbank of Southeastern VA and VA Peninsula Foodbank from January 2020 and October 2020.
“With the disruptions to lives and incomes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen many new faces of food insecurity visiting our partner agencies and outreach programs,” said Karen Joyner, Chief Executive Officer of Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. “This significant and generous contribution from Kroger and Kraft Heinz ensures that we will be able to continue to respond to increased requests for food assistance from our neighbors seeking support. Our work is only possible because of strong partnerships, and we thank Kroger and Kraft Heinz for their dedication to food banks and for helping us provide hope in the form of healthy meals throughout our community.”
Additionally, Kroger supports local events throughout the year such as the Mayflower Marathon and other groups including the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen.