Kroger Grants Totaling Over $480,000 Lend a Hand to Local Food Banks

Kroger Grants Totaling Over $480,000 Lend a Hand to Local Food Banks and Eastern Michigan University to Help Feed the Hungry

Grants are part of Kroger’s bold Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan, which celebrated its first anniversary this month

NOVI, Michigan – Food is often the last thing families buy when they face extra bills like school-related expenses and the cost to heat their homes. College students may also find it difficult to buy food after they pay for tuition and books and rent for apartments.

Kroger is helping six local food banks and Swoop’s Food Pantry at Eastern Michigan University ensure students and families have enough to eat by awarding grants totaling over $480,000. Grant amounts vary based on the area each food bank serves, with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, Food Bank of South Central Michigan, Food Gatherers, Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and Greater Lansing Food Bank benefitting.

The Kroger grant to EMU is for $20,000, which will fund Swoop’s Pantry expenses for the entire year.

“Students experiencing food insecurity have a harder time learning and studying,” said Dr. Paul St. Leighton, EMU professor in sociology, anthropology and criminology.  “The generous grant from Kroger will help students focus on their classes and will allow Swoop’s Pantry to expand its efforts to address related issues – such as housing insecurity – that are also barriers to educational success and graduation.”

“Financial contributions feed more families than food donations,” said Rachel Hurst, corporate affairs manager, The Kroger Co., Michigan Division. “The grants allow recipients to use the funds at their own discretion – possibly for improvements or to expand their operations. Kroger’s goal is to ensure local food banks and Swoop’s Pantry can feed as many people as possible to end the absurdity of hunger in our communities.”

The food bank and food pantry grants are possible through Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, Kroger’s bold plan to end hunger in local communities and eliminate waste across the company by 2025.

Michigan Kroger observed the first anniversary of Zero Hunger | Zero Waste this month and donated nearly 4 million pounds of food to feed the hungry during the past year. The grocer also contributed 416,000 meals to hungry neighbors during its annual From Hearts to Homes campaign and directed $600,000 in charitable giving to end hunger.  

About the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan

Since 1991, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan has vigorously pursued the mission to eradicate hunger within the community. The organization distributes over 28 million pounds of food annually through a network of more than 415 partner agencies in 22 counties.

About the Food Bank of South Central Michigan

The Food Bank of South Central Michigan has been feeding hungry people since its inception in 1982. What started as a small group of people with a singular purpose has grown into an organization that reaches over 189,300 people each year through a hunger-relief network of more than 285 partner agencies operating in eight south central Michigan counties.

About Food Gatherers

Established in 1988, Food Gatherers is Michigan’s first food rescue program, and Washtenaw County’s food bank and food rescue program. The organization serves 170 non-profit agencies and programs providing direct food assistance in the form of hot meals, nutritious snacks or emergency groceries to low-income adults, seniors and children in the County.

About Forgotten Harvest

Forgotten Harvest is a food rescue organization formed in 1990 to relieve hunger in Metro Detroit and prevent nutritious food waste. With 800 donors, the organization delivers much needed fresh nutritious food, free of charge, to over 260 agencies, including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless and domestic shelters, children’s homes, senior centers and group homes in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. In 2017 we rescued over 44.5 million pounds of food.

About Gleaners Community Food Bank

Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan provides households with access to sufficient, nutritious food, and related resources. Headquartered in Detroit, Gleaners operates five distribution centers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties and provides food to 499 partner soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other agencies throughout southeastern Michigan. In 2017, Gleaners distributed more than 42 million pounds of food to neighbors in need! On average, Gleaners distributes 96,000 meals each day and provides nourishing food and nutrition education to 171,000 children a year.

About Greater Lansing Food Bank

Greater Lansing Food Bank is a non-profit organization that provides emergency food to individuals and families in need in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, Clare, Isabella and Gratiot counties. With the help of donors, volunteers and partners, Greater Lansing Food Bank provided over 7,144,000 meals to those in-need during 2017.

About Swoop’s Pantry

Swoop’s Pantry is proud to provide EMU students with free food assistance twice a month (with an additional third emergency visit if necessary) to positively impact their well-being and college success. Personal hygiene items, cold weather gear, baby items, in addition to food assistance are provided as needed.  Swoop’s offers guidance for students interested in applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and advocacy for students interested in enrolling in a Health Michigan Plan.  Swoop’s collaborates with the Office of Nutrition Services (through the School of Health Sciences) to provide workshops on healthy eating, food demonstrations, and low-budget recipes.

About The Kroger Co. of Michigan

Incorporated in Michigan in 1909 and headquartered in Novi, The Kroger Co. of Michigan operates 122 Kroger stores, 75 fuel centers, 104 pharmacies and the Michigan Dairy. Michigan Kroger’s 19,000 associates are dedicated to the Kroger Purpose: to FEED the Human Spirit, by serving the region through food, inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025.


For more information, please contact:

Rachel Hurst
Corporate Affairs Manager
The Kroger Co., Michigan Division