'Tis the season to care, and Kroger stores banked on the spirit of team members and the generosity of North Texans for its inaugural Community Care Hunger Campaign.
"It's been a tough year for many, and I think anybody that can help wants to help,' said Adam Wampler, president of Kroger Dallas Division.
Since Nov. 11, the grocer asked shoppers for an extra $10 to buy a virtual Community Care Food Box. Or, they could round up their grocery purchase to the nearest $1, $5 or $10.
"It's three meals for every dollar, so that's the way the math works. So, our goal was to raise 5 million meals," Wampler said.
The donations now will help five food banks including North Texas Food Bank, Tarrant Area Food Bank, East Texas Food Bank, Food Bank of Central Louisiana and Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana.
"We like to raise money in November and December when people are thinking about helping out food banks. That money is then transferred to food that we deliver in January and February when the food banks across northern Texas are ready to receive it," Wampler explained.
With the campaign in its final days, Wampler is ecstatic that the campaign is surpassing the 5 million meal goal.
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"We blew past that about a week ago. So today, if we're just talking meals. We're over 6 million meals and well on our way to 7 million by the time we hit Christmas," Wampler said.
Wampler got the job as president for Kroger Dallas in March leading the teams at 109 stores through a pandemic and all the challenges that come with it.
He watched them rally, and he's watched his new hometown in Collin County come through, too, to feed their neighbors through the Community Care Hunger Program.
"I happen to live in Prosper which is a phenomenal community. Those two stores themselves have raised half a million meals. Almost 10% of our total division has come from two stores," Wampler said as he also praised
Wampler is confident that in the final days of the campaign, enough money will be raised to get seven million meals and stock food banks bracing for more hungry families in 2021.
"Our communities have never been more food insecure ever. So they need us. And of our responsibilities as number one grocer chain is we want to feed America and I personally just wanna help feed Texas," he said.
NBC5 is the media partner for the Community Care Hunger Program at Kroger. It runs through Dec. 23.