Partnership between Kroger, local food banks tackles hunger this holiday season

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The countdown is on. Christmas is almost here.

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time, but for so many Hoosiers just putting together a holiday meal is a struggle.

“Hunger doesn’t discriminate whatsoever, so each community is a little bit different,” said Gleaners Director of Food Acquisition Jeff McDonald.

It’s a challenge Kroger and Gleaners are trying to tackle by taking unsold, yet usable food and giving it to the people who need it the most.

“We are able to come in and pick up items that the store can no longer sell then immediately distribute them back out to the community,” McDonald explained.

Each week, food banks like Gleaners and local pantries pick up a variety of produce, meat, baked goods and dairy products at area Kroger stores that otherwise would be tossed in the trash.

“To think that it might have ended up in a landfill, this is so much better,” said Kroger Manager of Corporate Affairs Eric Halvorson.

It gives Hoosier families some peace of mind by allowing them to focus on what the holidays are truly about.

“If they can’t feed their kids, that’s an issue. If they can’t have a present under the tree, they’re trying to decide which can they do. With Gleaners and our other food bank partners, we can do both,” Halvorson said.

All Kroger stores in Indiana are involved in this initiative.

Officials on average say each store sends about 1,800 pounds of food a month to food banks.

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