Kroger blocks customer donations to the far-right militia group

(Reuters) – US supermarket chain Kroger Co said on Wednesday it had blocked Indiana Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group, from receive donations collected from customers after drawing flak from a number of social media users.

Investigators into the US Capitol breach on January 6 accused members of Oath Keepers of organizing the riot that killed five people. Criminal charges revealed that many of the suspects have ties to the group and the Proud Boys, another right-wing group.

“Given the disturbing nature of the allegations against this organization, we immediately removed the group from receive direct funds from customers, “Kroger said in a statement.

He said Oath Keepers was an IRS-approved nonprofit organization and was receiving donations through its customer-directed program in which thousands of groups participate.

“We were appalled to learn yesterday (Tuesday) that this group was part of the Community Rewards program,” Kroger said.

The company said it did not allocate any corporate grants or charitable dollars to the organization that received the “nominal amount” of direct funds from clients.

Kroger is currently examining the list of organizations enrolled in the program to determine if there are other groups that should be removed, he said.

Reportage by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli