Bentonville, Ark., Oct. 8, 2014 – From Sept.15 to Oct. 5, more than 362,000 votes were cast for 129 participating Feeding America food banks as part of Walmart’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change. Campaign. Local communities rallied together throughout the month to vote at www.walmart.com/fighthunger and, as a result, the 50 food banks with the most votes were selected as winners of a $60,000 grant. These grants will help food banks and partner agencies secure the food, equipment and support they need to help serve the 49 million Americans that, according to the USDA, may not know where their next meal will come from at some point this year.
“We want to thank everyone who rallied together and voted in the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. Campaign for their commitment to hunger relief,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of Walmart Sustainability. “Through the grants, we know the winning organizations and their partners will continue making great strides in the fight against hunger in their communities. By continuing our work together we hope to bring about a day when no family has to wonder where their next meal will come from.”
The Fight Hunger. Spark Change. Campaign launched during a critical time when our nation’s food banks are faced with historically high rates of food insecurity. Feeding America recently released its Hunger in America 2014 report showing that in a single year one in seven Americans, including 12 million children, turn to the Feeding America network of food banks for food assistance. To help Feeding America meet this need, Walmart teamed up with six of the nation’s largest food companies for the campaign – General Mills, Unilever, Hormel, ConAgra Foods, PepsiCo/Quaker and Kellogg Company – to distribute $3.7 million, the monetary equivalent of more than 37 million meals,[i] to Feeding America food banks and local agencies throughout the United States.
“We are proud to stand together with Walmart and their partners to help fight hunger across the country,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. “With 49 million of our neighbors and friends struggling with hunger, we know it’s going to take all of us working together to make sure that everyone has enough food for their families.”
As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is in a unique leadership position to impact the issue of hunger in the United States, and joining with suppliers, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations will only help magnify its efforts. Fight Hunger. Spark Change. is just one part of Walmart’s fight to end hunger. Walmart recently announced further food goals in the areas of affordability, accessibility, healthier eating and safety and transparency, which included providing four billion meals to those in need in the United States over the next five years. To learn more about Walmart’s work to fight hunger, visit foundation.walmart.com.
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About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts that draw on the strengths of Walmart in the arenas of sustainability, economic opportunity, and community. As part of our commitment to creating a more sustainable food system worldwide, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States. They recently exceeded a $2 billion goal to fight hunger one year ahead of schedule and have donated more than 1.5 billion pounds of food to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit www.foundation.walmart.com.
¹In January 2014, Walmart donated the monetary equivalent of 33 million meals ($3.3 million) to Feeding America. In September 2014, the six participating food companies (General Mills, Unilever, Hormel, ConAgra Foods, PepsiCo/Quaker and Kellogg Company) have collectively pledged to donate the monetary equivalent of 4.26 million meals ($426,000). $1 helps provide 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.