Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced a $2 billion cash and in-kind commitment, stepping up efforts to help end hunger in America. The new five-year initiative, “Fighting Hunger Together,” includes four key components:
•Donating more than 1.1 billion pounds of food from Walmart stores, distribution centers, and Sam’s Club locations, valued at $1.75 billion.
•Grants totaling $250 million to support hunger relief organizations at the national, state, and local levels.
•Mobilizing Walmart associates and customers.
•Collaboration with government, food manufacturers, and other corporations that are fighting hunger to increase impact and reach a greater number of families in need.
According to a November 2009 US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, hunger rates in the United States are the highest since 1995 with nearly 15% of households lacking access to an adequate supply of nutritious food. Walmart expects its cash and in-kind gifts of fresh produce, meat, dairy, and other foods to provide more than one billion meals to these needy families.
“Increasingly, we see opportunities to use our scale and reach to solve challenges in our communities. This is one of those times,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart’s vice-chairman.
He announced the company’s plans on Capitol Hill, joined by USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon; Senate Hunger Caucus Co-Chairwoman Sen Blanche Lincoln, D-AR; House Hunger Caucus Co-Chairmen Rep Jim McGovern, D-MA; Rep Jo Ann Emerson, R-MO; Rep John Boozman, R-AR; and Terry Shannon, president and chief executive officer of St Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix AZ—the first food bank in the United States.
The Walmart Foundation announced the first grants as part of this commitment:
•Donations totaling $8 million will help US food banks improve capacity. This includes $6 million to purchase 60 refrigerated trucks for Feeding America food banks. Added to the 69 previously donated by Walmart, the trucks will help ensure that each food bank can safely transport donations from Walmart stores and other grocers.
•Donations totaling $10 million will help ensure that children across the nation are fed healthy meals during the school year and summer months.
For more information, including a list of planned food donations over the next five years or to find local volunteer opportunities, visit www.walmartgiving.com.