Walmart is providing more help in the fight against hunger — including via digital methods.
The Walmart Foundation is granting Feeding America $12 million over two years, the retailer said. Walmart is also encouraging its stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers in the United States to commit funds and to continue to make product donations to hunger-relief organizations through the end of the year.
The Walmart Foundation grant to Feeding America will support critical work that aims to reduce barriers and increase access to food assistance for people facing hunger, including expanding Order Ahead, the organization’s click and collect app, which enables food insecure neighbors to order food from a food bank or partner organization and pick it up at a convenient location, drive-thru, home delivery or locker. The grant will also provide significant capacity investments for several member food banks to increase the amount of food they are able to source and distribute to people in need in their communities, as well as support digital ads and one-on-one application assistance for those in need of benefits and resources.
“Hunger affects people in every community across the country. The Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 pantries and meal programs works hard every day to help our neighbors who face hunger, especially during this time of crisis,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “We are tremendously grateful to Walmart and the Walmart Foundation for their generous support and their long-standing commitment to fighting hunger in every community across the country. Their support has been transformational for the fight to end hunger.”
In Walmart’s work to use its business strengths alongside philanthropy in fighting food insecurity, stores, clubs and distribution centers across the United States were encouraged earlier this week to appoint a hunger champion to help coordinate holiday hunger relief efforts. Associates are reaching out to local nonprofits to assess their needs and learn how the company can best meet the demand. Many Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs have already been helping organizations fight the battle against hunger in their communities this holiday season.
In Longview, Washington, for example, Walmart supports Food for Change, a local community organization co-founded by a Walmart associate. Food for Change is helping provide 500 meals to those in need this month. And in Bend, Oregon, Walmart associates and a local Rotary Club worked to support 683 families through a store grant and product donations during the week of Thanksgiving.
For years, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have supported hunger-relief organizations, and this year is no different. Since Feb. 1 of this year, more than 5,000 hunger-relief organizations have received support from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation through the donation of 480 million pounds of food and over $55 million in grants for hunger relief. Complemented by these efforts, Walmart customers, Sam’s Club members and suppliers have raised nearly $18 million for hunger relief.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 56 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam’s Club ranks No. 9 on PG’s list.