(COLUMBIA FALLS, MONTANA) – For the seventh consecutive year, Smith’s Food & Drug Centers in Columbia Falls and Kalispell sponsored “Round Up for Glacier,” throughout the month of July.  Customers were asked to “round up” their grocery bill to support field trips to Glacier National Park with all donations funding transportation to Glacier National Park for local schools with limited travel budgets.


Customers responded by donating $9,982 at check out during the month-long campaign, which was then matched by Smith’s Neighbor to Neighbor Program with a grant of $2,500. This will fund field trip opportunities for 2,500 students from school districts that surround the park during the 2015-2016 school year.


“Glacier National Park’s educational programs provide opportunities to seamlessly connect classroom learning with hands-on discovery in the park for Montana students,” said Glacier Conservancy president Mark Preiss. “From Winter Ecology on Snowshoes to first grade’s Wild Animals, Wild Places, these experiences help students form lasting bonds with the park.”


“This is an important project, not only as a local event but also as an environmental event to teach children the value of our wonderful national parks like Glacier,” said Marsha Gilford, Vice President of Public Affairs for Smith’s Food and Drug Stores. “We are happy to participate and are proud of our local stores that believe in the importance of this program.”


Smith’s Round Up is an important piece of the Glacier education program, providing needed funding for transportation that would otherwise not be available. “Thanks to Smith’s and each of their customers who prioritize park-based learning opportunities and donate funding to make Glacier field trips possible,” said Preiss.


Smith’s is a division of the Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers. From its division office in Salt Lake City, Smith’s operates 124 stores in seven western states, including four in Montana. Smith’s charitable giving totaled $193,000 in cash and food in Montana in 2013.  For more information about Smith’s go to www.smithsfoodanddrug.com.


Glacier National Park Conservancy is the official philanthropic and outreach partner of Glacier National Park, and invests in preservation, education and research that enrich the Glacier experience. In 2015, GNPC is supporting 40 projects in Glacier National Park including Glacier Youth Corps, the rehabilitation of the Highline Trail and the Avalanche Lake shoreline, and Native America Speaks.  Learn more at glacierconservancy.org .