The Kroger Co., which supports numerous Michigan food banks and other hunger relief programs each year, has been named "Grocery Distributor of the Year" by America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization.Kroger was honored for its "outstanding support" of the organization and its affiliate member food banks across the country. Among the criteria used by the selection committee were product donations, technical assistance, funding, food drives and volunteer efforts.Across the nation, Kroger works with more than 40 regional food banks that are affiliated with Second Harvest. In 1999, the Company's 20 retail divisions, in conjunction with its suppliers, donated more than 16 million pounds of food and products to Second Harvest, ranking it as the fifth-largest contributor of food and product to the non-profit organization. Based on Second Harvest's national estimate of $1.52 per pound, Kroger's donation was valued at nearly $25 million.In Michigan, Kroger and its suppliers donated more than 680,000 pounds of food and products worth approximately $1 million based on Second Harvest's estimate, although this figure may vary depending on the rate assigned by individual food banks."Kroger is proud to assist Michigan food banks in providing emergency food assistance to millions of Americans each year," said Marnette Perry, president of The Kroger Co. of Michigan. "Our associates place a high priority on feeding the hungry through community outreach programs, fund raising and volunteer efforts. Working together with local food banks, they are making a difference in their communities and working to ensure that donations made by our customers and our stores reach needy families throughout the region."Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger is the nation's largest retail grocery chain. The Company operates 107 supermarkets in Michigan.