Harris Teeter believes in getting involved in the communities it serves. To help us accomplish this goal we have focused our giving on three main areas; eliminating hunger, educating children and serving specific community needs. Thanks to the partnerships we have built with charities in all of our marketing areas, Harris Teeter was able to donate over $5.5 million during our 2004 fiscal year.
Eliminating hunger in the communities we serve is a natural fit for a grocery retailer. Knowing that over 12 million, or approximately 16.7% of children in the U.S., live in poverty instills a sense of urgency for the company. Harris Teeter reaches out to those struggling in many ways. The company's Harvest Feast dinner has served over 15,000 individuals a free meal. Over 100 tons of food was collected during in store food drives and over $2 million was donated in product and monetary gifts.
Educating children has been a focus for Harris Teeter since the inception of its Together in Education (TIE) campaign in 1998. To date, TIE has donated over $5.5 million to area schools. During the 2003-2004 school year the company donated over $1.1 million and during the 2004-2005 school year area schools have already earned $344,164. The number continues to grow daily.
Serving specific community needs is a broad category, which allows the company to service many organizations. A few of the charities that fell underneath this umbrella in 2004 include: The United Way, receiving over $1 million during Harris Teeter's annual campaign; The Muscular Dystrophy Association, receiving $101,890 during our Shamrocks Against Dystrophy campaign; the American Heart Association cleared $142,138 for their Heart Walks; over $30,000 went to hurricane relief and over $800,000 went to more than 1,000 other charities.
Harris Teeter's contributions of over $5.5 million are in large part due to the participation of our vendors, customers and associates. Without their donations or purchases at our registers, this number would be much smaller. Harris Teeter is committed to the communities where our customers and associates live and work. We will continue to give them an opportunity to donate to organizations that make a difference in the lives of their friends and colleagues.