(Oct. 24) Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. has been named Retailer of the Year for the second consecutive year by America’s Second Harvest, Chicago, the largest charitable hunger-relief organization in the nation.

Kroger has donated more than 25 million pounds of product annually and last year donated more than 30 million pounds to America’s Second Harvest network.

“Without the support of companies like Kroger and what they do day in and day out, there wouldn’t be a hunger-relief organization,” said Rick Bella, director of purchasing and value-added processing for America’s Second Harvest. “They support us in so many different ways, not only in funds and food, which are drastically needed, but they also serve as a resource in the food industry for us to turn to anytime we need information or help with a project.”

Each year the organization honors a company with the Retailer of the Year award for demonstrating the highest level of commitment to the network for product donation, the release said.

“Any time we need to think about purchasing food, Kroger offers support on who to contact, so the relationship is not just them giving us a check,” Bella said. “There is a corporate involvement in all aspects of our business that makes the partnership so valuable.”

America’s Second Harvest network distributes more than 2 billion pounds of donated food products annually and supports over 50,000 local charitable agencies.