Walmart Awards Local Food Pantries $1.5M in Grants

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has revealed the 75 winners of its Food Pantry Holiday Makeover campaign, each of which will receive a $20,000 grant for facility renovations and the purchase of necessary equipment.

Launching just before the busiest time of year for hunger relief agencies, the campaign, for which Walmart teamed with home improvement expert and TV personality James Young, enabled communities to vote online for their local food pantries to win grants. Those food pantries that garnered the most votes from Dec. 2-12 will get part of the total $1.5 million in grants.

"We are humbled by the turnout of support Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry has received throughout the campaign," said Rev. Robert P. Hahn, senior pastor at Chesapeake Church, which operates the Huntingtown, Md.-based pantry, one of the makeover winners. "It will help us improve the food distribution area to make it much easier for people in need to access food. We’ll also be able to expand our food storage area, allowing us to provide healthier foods so more families can eat nutritious meals."

"We are so thankful for everyone who voted and for the communities that came together to support their local hunger relief agencies," said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and SVP of Walmart sustainability. "The dedicated food pantry staff and volunteers who work so hard to fight hunger can start making plans for the purchase of new equipment and renovations. We hope that these grants will help make the holidays a little brighter not just for the food pantry staff and volunteers, but also, most importantly, for the families served by these organizations."

The campaign is part of the company's commitment to creating a more sustainable food system, with a focus on improving the affordability of food, increasing access to food, making healthier eating easier, and enhancing the safety and transparency of the food chain.

The full list of winners is available online.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates 11,156 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites in 11 countries.

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