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Kroger Round-up benefits
A Friends House


By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

  Grocery shoppers this week have an easy way to give to a well-known Henry County charity.

  The county’s five Kroger stores – on Fairview Road in Ellenwood, on Hwy. 138 in Stockbridge, on Hudson Bridge and Flippen roads, on Jonesboro Road in McDonough, and on East Lake Parkway at Hwy. 155 – are participating in their annual “Round-up” promotion to benefit A Friend’s House, a shelter for children in crisis.

Jim Pusateri, manager of the Hudson Bridge Kroger, presents a check to Nan Jenkins of A Friend’s House representing the amount of money raised during last year’s Round-Up.                                                                Special photo

  Young people who stay at A Friend’s House are in the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services or the Juvenile Court system. More than 1,800 children have been guests at the facility since it opened in 1998.

From now through March 8, when you check out at Kroger, your cashier will ask if you want to “round up” your purchase to the next whole dollar. All excess funds collected this way will go toward A Friend’s House. The goal is $2,000 per store, or $10,000 total.

  Kroger has actually been a supporter of A Friend’s House for about 17 years, dating back to when the facility was still in its planning stages.

  “They have been very successful over the years,” said AFH development director Nan Jenkins of the grocery chain and its promotion, which has raised more than $250,000 since it began.

  After hitting a lull for a few years, the Round-up came close to the $10,000 goal in 2013 and looks to be back on track, Jenkins said.

  The effort is spearheaded by Jim Pusateri, manager of the Hudson Bridge Kroger. Working at all of the local Kroger stores over the years, he has played a major role in the participation level and total success of the program, according to Jenkins.

  Keeping employees involved and enthusiastic is also key to the program’s success. One way this is done is by deploying secret shoppers, who are placed throughout the community to visit all five Kroger stores. When a secret shopper is asked by a cashier if he or she wishes to “round up” a purchase, that cashier is rewarded with a gift card. “We do it a couple of times at each store to keep the cashiers motivated,” said Jenkins.

  Fundraising season for A Friend’s House is in full swing. A dinner gala, “All You Need Is Love,” took place in December and the Feb. 8 Love Run road race on Henry Parkway raised about $5,000. The organization’s biggest fundraiser, Taste of Henry, is just around the corner in April and preparations are already underway.

  For more information on A Friend’s House, visit



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