CINCINNATI, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today proudly announced a cumulative contribution to the USO of $3.2 million for 2013. The funds were raised through the company's Honoring Our Heroes sales event in May and customer contributions collected at check stands through the summer and fall. "Kroger is honored and privileged to support our service men and women through our partnership with the USO," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger's group vice president for corporate affairs. "And we are humbled by the generosity our customers have shown through their participation in Kroger's Honoring Our Heroes campaign and by donating spare change or rounding up their purchases at cash registers." The Kroger family of stores, in partnership with customers, associates and vendors, has donated a total of $8.4 million to the USO since 2010. All of the funds raised support the broad range of programs and services the USO provides to service members, their families, wounded, ill and injured troops, and our veterans. A private, nonprofit organization, the USO provides programs, services and entertainment events to enhance the quality of life for America's military personnel and their families wherever they serve. Kroger is also committed to hiring veterans. Since 2009, more than 21,200 veterans have joined the company. Last year, Kroger joined more than 90 other companies in the "100,000 Jobs Mission." The program has a collective goal of hiring more than 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020. Kroger also makes it easy to support the troops online. By visiting www.honoringourheroes.com, customers can volunteer with the USO, make a donation or write a note to a service member. Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,418 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 783 convenience stores, 326 fine jewelry stores, 1,195 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club. SOURCE The Kroger Co.