Retail giant Walmart and the Walmart Foundation said more than $18 million worth donations will be given away this holiday season in the U.S. to fight hunger.
The company said it will host first nationwide food drive at all Walmart stores, seek the help of facebook fans in selecting communities to receive $1.5 million in grants, donate 65 refrigerator food trucks to Feeding America network of food banks and help the Salvation Army to provide meals with a $1-million donation.
Citing the USDA report that said 1 in 6 Americans may face food insecurity, Walmart said its effort to fight hunger in America this season is part of its $2 billion commitment made early this year to help end hunger in the next five years.
We must face the fact that there are people who go hungry in this country every day. These are our neighbors and people we see throughout our daily lives, said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. This issue has to be top of mind when we sit down at dinner and when we eat breakfast, and we all have to commit to doing something to help. If all of us give one can of food or volunteer one hour at a food bank, if we all do one thing, together we can end hunger in this country.
As part of its Nationwide Food Drive (Nov. 15 to Nov. 22), each of Walmart's 3,700 stores will ask customers to donate non-perishable food items such as protein-rich canned tuna, nuts or 100 percent juice boxes, which will in turn be donated to local food banks. The company provided nine truckloads of food to food banks in Houston, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, Charleston, Valdosta, Ga., Tallahassee, Atlanta and Birmingham.
Roping Facebook fans, from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, the Walmart Foundation will appeal people to visit Walmart's Facebook page and help decide which cities should receive $1.5 million in grants to fight hunger. Participants will choose from a list of 100 communities where hunger rates are the highest -- the city with the most support will receive $1 million in grants and the next five cities with the highest support will receive $100,000 each.
The foundation said its 100th refrigerator food truck will be donated to Feeding America through a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio. Walmart's 100th truck donation is one of 65 refrigerator food trucks that will be given to Feeding America food banks this holiday season.
The $60-million worth refrigerator food trucks enable food banks to transport fresh food, deli meat, beef, chicken and dairy items donated from Walmart stores.
The foundation has also announced grants to organizations and nonprofits committed to fighting hunger in the United States, including a $1 million grant to the Salvation Army to purchase meals for families and $4.6 million in funds to local food banks.
The company said it will allow Salvation Army Red Kettles to raise funds at Walmart stores and Sam's Club locations from Nov. 26 to Dec. 24.