Kangaroo Express Rolls Out 'Roo Rides'

The Pantry announces fourth annual "Salute Our Troops" campaign

Pantry Kangaroo Express Roo Rides (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores)

CARY, N.C. -- The Pantry Inc.'s Kangaroo Express has announced the fourth annual Salute Our Troops campaign, inviting customers in its more than 1,530 Kangaroo Express convenience stores across 13 states to demonstrate united support for military personnel and their families.

From the week before Independence Day through Labor Day, June 25 to Sept. 2, Kangaroo Express will invite customers to make donations to the campaign at its checkout counters in support of U.S. servicemen and women and their families.

For the first time, the summer-long initiative introduces Salute Our Troops "ROO Rides," motorcycle charity rides that will stop at Kangaroo Express locations, local military support organizations, community parks, memorials and more to drive hometown support and recognize military heroes and families in local communities along its route.

"The first Salute Our Troops ROO Rides, back in 2011, were organically organized by passionate Kangaroo Express store associates and managers in Rome, Georgia and Sanford, N.C.," said Schmidt. "Embracing the overwhelming success of these grassroots events and the passion our team has for supporting our U.S. Armed Forces will make 'ROO Rides' an integral part of the fourth year of this worthy campaign."

"Considering more than one-third of our employees have a direct connection to the military, supporting our troops means supporting our family," said Gordon Schmidt, senior vice president of operations for Kangaroo Express. "We are enlisting our team for the fourth consecutive year to show our united appreciation for our nation's military members and their families, and raise funds to support the organizations dedicated to helping them."

Donations from the campaign will support the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces, Fisher House Foundation, the United States Veterans Corps, as well as six state-based military support organizations.

The six state-based organizations benefiting from the campaign span five states throughout the Southeast and include the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of Tennessee Auxiliary Soldier Airman Relief Fund, Florida National Guard Foundation, Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund of North Carolina, South Carolina Military Family Care Association, and the USO of North Carolina.

Since its commencement in 2011, the Salute Our Troops campaign has raised $8.4 million dollars, breaking fundraising records for many of its beneficiary organizations.

PepsiCo, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies with iconic brands such as Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade and Frito-Lay, is the leading corporate contributor to Kangaroo Express' fundraising goal for the fourth consecutive year.

"We are proud to join Kangaroo Express in showing our support for troops and their families," said Chris DeLong, vice president of the dollar, drug and convenience store channel for PepsiCo North America Beverages. "This annual campaign continues to allow Kangaroo Express, its guests and PepsiCo to give back to our courageous servicemen and women."

McLane Co. and Red Bull are also Salute Our Troops sponsors.

As of May 1, 2014, The Pantry, Cary, N.C., operated 1,534 stores in 13 states under select banners, including its primary operating banner Kangaroo Express.

Part of CSP's 2014 Convenience Top 101 retailers