POWELL, OH – Visitors to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Wildlights can earn free admission and help “Stuff the Truck” to feed central Ohio’s hungry during Wildlights’ opening evening, Friday, November 18 from 5-10 p.m. Everyone who donates five cans of food will enter the Zoo free and enjoy free parking, with donations benefitting Mid-Ohio Foodbank and its network of food pantries.
“We are proud to sponsor such a wonderful event,” said the Zoo’s President and CEO Dale Schmidt. “Joining forces with Kroger and Mid-Ohio Foodbank to help those in need in our community is what the holidays are all about.”
“We’re grateful to have community partners like the Zoo and Kroger come together at such a critical time of the year to help keep the shelves stocked at so many of our partner pantries,” said Mid-Ohio Foodbank President and CEO Matt Habash.
The Foodbank asks patrons to bring any non-perishable donations to the drive, including peanut butter, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, soups and chili.
“There’s no better time than the holidays to help the less fortunate in our community,” said Bruce Macaulay, president of Kroger’s Columbus Division. “The winter months often bring increased demand for food and this year’s needs are likely to be especially high. We hope through the ‘Stuff the Truck’ event we can help Mid-Ohio Foodbank meet the needs of as many individuals and families as possible.”
Wildlights, efficiently powered by gridSMART from AEP Ohio, takes place Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. beginning Nov. 18, 2011 through Jan. 1, 2012. This year’s display will be bigger and brighter than ever before with the addition of the Global Celebrations Holiday Light Show, an animated holiday light show featuring new songs and designs and a globe in the center of Conservation Lake.
About the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 9,000 animals representing 675 species and provides more than $1 million annually to support over 70 conservation projects worldwide. A recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Club, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium hosts more than two million visitors annually and was named the #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide. For more information and to purchase advance Zoo admission tickets, visit www.columbuszoo.org.
Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 338,000 associates who serve customers in 2,458 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 786 convenience stores, 361 fine jewelry stores, 1,014 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S. Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, and local organizations in the communities it serves. For more information about Kroger, please visit www.kroger.com.
About Mid-Ohio Foodbank
Mid-Ohio Foodbank provides food to hundreds of thousands of hungry Ohioans each year by partnering with more than 500 emergency feeding sites across central and eastern Ohio, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers, and after-school programs. For over 30 years, the Foodbank has been dedicated to feeding hungry people by collecting and distributing food and grocery products, educating the community about hunger, advocating for hunger-relief programs, and collaborating with others who address basic human needs. Over the past 12 months, the Foodbank has distributed more than 40 million pounds of food and grocery products to their partner charities. Mid-Ohio Foodbank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity. For more information or to donate, visit www.midohiofoodbank.org.