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Media Alerts and Press Releases
3/25/2003
Operation Phone Home Keeps U.S. Troops Connected
Harris Teeter joins forces with the American Red Cross to sell phone cards for soldiers to stay in touch with loved ones back home.

Charlotte, NC - Harris Teeter stores are proud to join the army of volunteers and staff that help the American Red Cross provide for our troops during wartime. Starting on Wednesday, March 26, 2003, all Harris Teeter stores will be selling $1 and $20 American flags to help send pre-paid phone cards to our troops overseas.

Money raised will go towards buying special AT&T phone cards that will allow U.S. soldiers stationed in remote areas of the Middle East to call home and hear the familiar voices of their friends and family. $20 buys one of these phone cards and our service men and women can use it to call home from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Djibouti, UAE, Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.

"We at Harris Teeter wanted to give our customers a chance to join us in support of our troops overseas and this program even goes a step further and helps military families here at home," said Fred Morganthall, President of Harris Teeter.

"The beauty of this project is that it not only provides a phone card for the service man or woman overseas, but also helps to fund American Red Cross services for military families left at home," said Joe Becker, executive director of the American Red Cross, Greater Carolinas Chapter. "Our support to military families is made stronger by public support of the phone card program."

The same communication infrastructure that has been put in place to support the new, high-tech military of today, also allows soldiers never-before access to call home. "AT&T is honored to be able to assist our troops with the services they need to stay in touch with loved ones, no matter the distance or the time of day," said Bill Baumann, director of AT&T's Military Markets.

Calling cards will be mailed through the American Red Cross secured system used every day to route goods and supplies to the troops overseas. "This will be a welcome care package for most of our soldiers," notes Becker. Other monies raised from Operation Phone Home will help the Red Cross pay rent and other bills, provide counseling services and other support services for military families in need on the homefront.

Military families make many sacrifices. Recently, as a guest on Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory's weekly call-in radio show, Becker talked to a mother whose phone bill from her son in Kuwait totaled over $250.00 — for one call. "The Red Cross felt that perhaps we could lessen the financial burden on some families by helping out with their phone bill. They could get peace of mind, talk directly to their loved one involved in the war, and the pre-paid phone cards could take care of the bill," Becker added.

Today, calling service is active in more than 170 overseas locations and aboard more than 200 U.S. Navy ships. Operation Phone Home cards cost $20 each, but they can be worth up to as much as $50 of calling time in some countries.

Everyone sitting at home watching this war unfold on television wants to know what they
can do to help. Now, it's as easy as giving a few dollars when you check out at the grocery store. Those few dollars can go a long way in building morale for our service men and women and comforting their family here at home.



Since its founding in 1881, the American Red Cross has been the nation's premier emergency response agency. As part of a worldwide movement that offers neutral humanitarian care to victims of war, Red Cross also aids victims of natural disasters as well as offering community services that help the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; the collection, processing and distribution of blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs. For more information on the American Red Cross visit www.redcrosshelps.org.

Harris Teeter, Inc. with headquarters in Matthews, NC, is a subsidiary of Ruddick Corporation (NYSE:RDK). Harris Teeter is the 39th largest supermarket in the United States with 2002 sales of $2.35 billion. The grocery store chain employs over 14,000 associates and has 142 stores in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida.