Walmart, Feeding America Serve 1B-plus Meals to Needy
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the largest U.S. domestic hunger-relief organization Feeding America achieved a major milestone in their partnership this week: the distribution of more than 1 billion meals in food and products since 2005. This is the first time a Feeding America corporate partner has surpassed this number through product donations to the national network of 200 food banks and 61,000 agencies.
“By reaching the 1 billion meals mark, Walmart has shown that they are deeply committed to helping fight hunger in the United States,” said Bob Aiken, president and CEO of Chicago-based Feeding America. “The 1 billion meals that Walmart has donated to our network have helped us bring nutritious food to families across the country, and it is something we would not have been able to do on our own.”
Merchandise from local Walmart stores goes directly to help feed the one in six Americans facing hunger. Initiatives such as the child-oriented BackPack Program and soup kitchens catering to seniors and vets all receive donations from the Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer.
“Hunger is an issue in the United States, and as the largest grocer in the country, we have a responsibility to help by leveraging our size and scale to produce impact,” noted Julie Gehrki, senior director of the Walmart Foundation. “Through the work that Feeding America is doing, we can extend our reach and help to solve this challenge in the communities we serve. As with anything we do at Walmart, we tackle challenges as a team.”
Walmart’s partnership extends throughout Feeding America’s network, with virtually every food bank getting such critically needed perishables as meat, dairy and produce directly from a local Walmart store or Sam’s Club via the retail donation program.
In 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $2 billion to help end hunger in America. The donation includes providing more than 1 billion pounds of food from Walmart facilities and giving $250 million to hunger-relief organizations through 2015.