The Pantry, Inc. (Nasdaq: PTRY), the leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States, today announced its summer-long Kangaroo Express “Salute Our Troops®” fundraising campaign has raised $3.17 million, surpassing the total number of funds raised during the inaugural 2011 campaign. In celebration of the campaign’s overwhelming success, military personnel, veterans, cause partner volunteers, sponsors, employees, and their families will gather on Oct. 3 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., for the Salute Our Troops check presentation event. From Independence Day through Labor Day, Kangaroo Express invited store guests to make donations to the campaign and empower communities to shine a spotlight of praise and gratitude on the military. Through The Pantry’s more than 1,500 Kangaroo Express stores across 13 states, customers and communities enthusiastically demonstrated united support for military personnel and their families. “Kangaroo Express guests and associates elevated the Salute Our Troops campaign to unprecedented levels this summer. It is their enthusiasm and passion that shows we, as a community, are here to support our troops and their families,” said John Fisher, senior vice president of marketing, merchandising and restaurant operations, Kangaroo Express. “This significant donation builds on Kangaroo Express’ ongoing commitment and gratitude for the sacrifices required to protect our nation and preserve our freedom. We look forward to continuing to work with our sponsors, sales associates and store guests to support our servicemen and women and their families all year long.” Donations from the campaign will directly support the USO, lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families around the world; Wounded Warrior Project ™, honoring and empowering injured servicemen and women; and six state-based military support organizations. For the second year in a row, Salute Our Troops is one of the largest grassroots fundraising initiatives in the USO’s more than 70-year history.
The other Salute Our Troops beneficiaries include the Enlisted Association of National Guard of Tennessee Auxiliary Soldier Airman Relief Fund Inc., Florida National Guard Foundation, Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, North Carolina National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund, South Carolina Military Family Care Association, and the United States Veterans Corps based in North Carolina.Donations will build on those collected during the 2011 Salute Our Troops campaign to continue to support our military and their families. These donations have helped to operate 12 USO centers and three USO military family support programs. They also helped Wounded Warrior Project programs designed to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. In addition, thanks to Salute Our Troops donations, emergency grant programs run by the state-based military support organizations have been able to distribute grants for military families and even build a rehabilitation pool for a wounded sergeant. More than 200 Salute Our Troops celebrations were held at Kangaroo Express stores and community events throughout the southeastern United States led by the Salute Our Troops Caravan. Celebrations included custom military vehicles and the Salute Our Troops Command Center, where store guests had the opportunity to add their own voice of gratitude with “shout outs” of pride and appreciation. More than 3,000 “shout outs” are showcased on the Salute Our Troops website at www.KESalute.com to share with troops and families around the world. Salute Our Troops presenting sponsor, PepsiCo, one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies with iconic brands such as Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade and Frito-Lay, was the leading corporate contributor to Kangaroo Express’ fundraising goal. “We are proud to once again join Kangaroo Express in this annual campaign that, for the second year, has provided record-breaking support for troops and their families,” said Chris DeLong, vice president of the Dollar, Drug and Convenience Store Channel for PepsiCo North America Beverages.
To view additional Salute Our Troops partners, including McLane and Rockstar, please visit www.KESalute.com/partners.For more information, visit the Salute Our Troops website at www.KESalute.com. About The Pantry and Kangaroo Express Headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, The Pantry, Inc. is the leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States and one of the largest independently operated convenience store chains in the country. As of August 6, 2012, the Company operated 1,589 stores in thirteen states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express®, its primary operating banner. The Pantry's stores offer a broad selection of merchandise, as well as fuel and other ancillary services designed to appeal to the convenience needs of its customers. For more information, visit www.kangarooexpress.com. With more than half of our stores located within 25 miles of a military installation, Kangaroo Express has supported the military and their families for many years, including raising $2.5 million for the USO, Wounded Warrior Project and local military support organizations as part of its 2011 summer-long “ Salute Our Troops®” fundraising campaign. About PepsiCo PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola – make hundreds of enjoyable foods and beverages that are loved throughout the world. PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo’s promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment by conserving energy and water and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com. Note to editors: Photos of the $3.17 million check presentation and celebration held Oct. 3 are available upon request.