Kroger donated a new $125,000 refrigerated box truck, which will soon deliver 12,000 pounds of food to families in need across the state of West Virginia, to the Mountaineer Food Bank on Tuesday.
“More than 40 percent of the food produced in this country goes unconsumed [and] while 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger, here in West Virginia, it’s 1 in 6,” Bob Davis, vice president of merchandising for Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division, said during a news conference announcing the donation at the grocer’s South Charleston location. “This is simply unacceptable, so as America’s grocer, we are doing something about that.”
Kroger partners with Mountaineer Food Bank on a year-round basis to identify areas where the food bank needs support. The ongoing partnership allows the food bank to pick up produce and dairy products from 32 Kroger stores across the state, bringing fresh food options to those who need it most.
Recently, Mountaineer Food Bank experienced a truck shortage and, as a result, thousands of pounds of consumable food was not being picked up on a weekly basis to give to those in need.
The new truck will help Mountaineer Food Bank serve those communities.
“With this new truck from Kroger, we’ll be adding a truck driver to our staff who will be able to aid us in delivering more food to our member agencies throughout the state,” said Eric Peyatt, director of operations for Mountaineer Food Bank. “The new truck and driver will also increase the number of pounds we are able to distribute in a day, ultimately allowing us to reach more people in need while fulfilling our mission. It’s truly a game-changer for us.”
Currently, Mountaineer Food Bank operates in 48 counties in West Virginia, serving over 200,000 individuals.
“Over 200,000 people in West Virginia struggle with hunger, and we’ve been able to partner with Kroger in about 32 locations throughout the state,” said Chad Morrison, executive director of Mountaineer Food Bank. “We have local feeding programs and pick up [at] those stores and they can arrange anywhere from 50 households to over 300 households at each Kroger location.”
The new truck will be used as a mobile pantry serving food-insecure individuals. Food distributions will take place in parking lots, schools, churches and other community sites throughout the state.
Distribution of 12,000 pounds of food, which can feed anywhere from 200 to 300 households, takes about two hours, and the truck will have three distributions every week, said Morrison.
Individuals will receive frozen products, fresh produce, dairy, canned goods and more.
“At Mountaineer Food Bank, through our great member agencies and our programs in the state, we were able to distribute over 16.7 million pounds of food last year,” said Morrison. “Kroger has been a tremendous partner for decades and the millions of pounds that they’ve donated in their stores, it changes lives. It really makes such a big difference.”
For more information on Mountaineer Food Bank, visit https://www.mountaineerfoodbank.org/ and for information on Kroger’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste campaign, visit https://www.kroger.com/f/zero-hunger-zero-waste.