Kroger reaching out to metro Atlanta schools

CONYERS -- Metro Atlanta Krogers are helping out students and teachers this month.

Kroger's Atlanta Division in partnership with the Children's Restoration Network and WSB-TV are teaming up for the "Back 2 School" book bag and school supplies drive, which will run through Saturday. More than 125 Kroger stores in 19 metro Atlanta counties will serve as collection sites in hopes of collecting 4,000 book bags and other essential school supplies to fill them.

"The need is greater than ever," said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger's Atlanta Division. "Atlanta's homeless children need help, and we believe that our customers and associates can make a real difference by providing our children with the tools to achieve educational success."

Children's Restoration Network, a nonprofit agency focusing on homeless children, works with more than 120 shelters and group homes and serves more than 3,500 adolescents each year.

Metro Atlantans can drop off book bags and school supplies at Kroger stores in Newton, Rockdale, Walton, DeKalb, Henry, Clayton, Bartow, Douglas, Carroll, Fayette, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, Spalding and Hall counties.

Items needed include: new book bags, wide- and college-ruled notebook paper, spiral notebooks, three-ring binders, pens and pencils, calculators, markers, scissors, file folders, rulers, crayons, glue and dictionaries.

Kroger's Atlanta Division also will show its support for Atlanta-area teachers by giving away school supplies worth $220,000 at the grocer's kickoff for the 2010-2011 "Earning Plus Learning."

Educators with a valid Georgia teacher ID can receive $48 worth of free school supplies, including copy paper, construction paper, hand sanitizer, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, cotton balls, dry erase markers, facial tissues, sandwich bags, band aids, Scotch tape and paper plates.

"Every year teachers receive less and less to spend on school supplies," Jenkins said. "This event is designed to provide our educators with some of the basic classroom items they need to help instruct our children."

Kroger's "Earning Plus Learning" program contributes up to $500,000 to elementary and middle schools, as well as graduating high school seniors annually. The theme for the 2010-11 school year is "Going Green! School. Home. Neighborhood."

From 9 a.m. to noon Friday, educators can visit the North Atlanta Trade Center at 1700 Jeurgens Court in Norcross or the Atlanta Civic Center at 395 Piedmont Ave. N.E. in Atlanta. At each location, educators will receive items on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

Kroger is one of the Southeast's largest retail grocery chains with more than 216 stores covering Georgia, eastern Tennessee, northern Alabama and South Carolina. The company focuses its charitable efforts on hunger relief, K-12 education, women's health initiatives and local organizations in the communities it serves.

For more information about Kroger, visit www.kroger.com.