Food bank program that started in western Virginia goes national

Kroger partnered with Feeding America Southwest Virginia to increase food supply

POSTED: 03:17 AM EST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 11:55 PM EDT Aug 15, 2013 
Feeding America Southwest Virginia food
SALEM, Va. -

Fighting hunger is a struggle when food banks have trouble keeping their shelves stocked, but a unique partnership that started in western Virginia is now making a difference across the country.

Last year, Kroger partnered with Feeding America Southwest Virginia on a pilot project.  Instead of sending unsold products to a reclamation center, the grocery chain delivered non-perishable items directly to the food bank.

Volunteers have helped process more than $1 million worth of food in Salem, and the program has now expanded to 12 food banks across the country.

Carl York is a spokesperson for Kroger Mid-Atlantic. " It's such a wise business decision," York told WDBJ7, "and to be able to help the community like that at the same time, I think a lot of people have their eyes on it, and I think you're going to see more and more of it."

Pamela Irvine is the President and CEO of Feeding America Southwest Virginia. "That feels really good to know that not only are we impactful here in our region," Irvine said, "but we had the opportunity to set a program up for the rest of the country."

Kroger saves money. The food bank receives more donations. And less food is wasted in the process.