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Walmart donating $1.75 billion in food to Indiana Food Banks

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have announced a $2 billion cash and in-kind commitment, stepping up efforts to help end hunger in America, including 7 1/2 million donated meals* to Indiana food banks in 2010 alone. Indiana will receive a total of about 43 million meals over the five year program.

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. Benefiting food banks in Indiana include:
    • Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bloomington
    • Tri-State Food Bank, Evansville
    • Community Harvest Food Bank, Fort Wayne
    • Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Gary
    • Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Indianapolis
    • Food Finders Food Bank, Lafayette
    • Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Muncie
    • Food Bank of Northern Indiana, South Bend
    • Terre Haute Catholic Charities Food Bank, Terre Haute
  • Grants totaling $250 million to support hunger relief organizations at the national, state and local levels;
  • Mobilizing Walmart associates and customers. For example, Walmart’s logistics team will lend their expertise to help food banks become more efficient in their operations; and
  • 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 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, hunger rates in the U.S. are the highest since 1995 with nearly 15 percent 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 1 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. “By working together, we believe we can reach a day where no individual in this country has to go to bed hungry or worry if there will be food to put on the table tomorrow.”

Castro-Wright announced the company’s plans on Capitol Hill this week, joined by USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon; Senate Hunger Caucus Co-Chairwoman Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.; House Hunger Caucus Co-Chairmen Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.; Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo.; Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark.; and Terry Shannon, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix – the first food bank in the U.S.

The Walmart Foundation announced the first grants as part of this commitment:

  • Donations totaling $8 million will help U.S. 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 U.S. are fed healthy meals during the school year and summer months. For example, $2 million will support the National Parks and Recreation Association’s summer feeding program and provide 2 million meals for U.S. children.

These and other efforts are designed to help improve the efficiency of the U.S. food bank system, make nutritious food more accessible and provide long-term solutions to eradicating hunger.

Lafayette’s Food Finders Food Bank

“Since the recession began, Food Finders Food Bank has noticed the demand from emergency food providers has increased dramatically,” said Katy Bunder, executive director of Food Finders Food Bank. “Walmart began increasing their food donations to meet the increased need from emergency food providers.”

Walmart will help each of its 1.4 million U.S. associates and the 140 million customers who shop its stores every week find opportunities to support food banks, senior meal delivery programs and other hunger relief organizations in their communities. More details on how customers can get involved will be announced this summer.

Last year, when high levels of unemployment placed greater demands on U.S. food banks, Walmart doubled its food donations, providing 81 million more pounds of food than the prior year. The company’s contributions made up 45 percent of donations from retailers to Feeding America food banks. The company also helped to feed more than 93,000 children in 2009 through a donation to the Boys and Girls Club of America’s summer feeding program.

For more information, including a state-by-state list of Walmart’s planned food donations over the next five years or to find local volunteer opportunities, visit www.walmartgiving.com.

In Indiana, Walmart operates more than 125 facilities employing 39,016 associates. In 2009, Walmart stores, Sam’s Club locations and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $12.7 million in cash and in-kind donations to Hoosier organizations in the communities they serve in Indiana. Through additional funds donated by customers, and Walmart and Sam’s Club associates throughout the state, the retailer’s contributions in Indiana totaled more than $15.3 million.

The company paid more than $51.1 million in Indiana state and local taxes in fiscal year ending in 2009.

In fiscal year ending 2009, Wal-Mart Stores spent more than $2.39 billion for merchandise and services with 1,431 Hoosier suppliers, resulting in nearly 88,000 supplier jobs in Indiana. http://walmartstores.com/FactsNews/StateByState/State.aspx?id=15

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One Response to “Walmart donating $1.75 billion in food to Indiana Food Banks”

  1. Nancy says:

    We have recently had a Walmart move into our community. Before they opened, there was alot of resistance from residents. Walmart has proven to be a good neighbor, donating to our schools and other community projects. They don’t deserve the bad publicity they’ve received.

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