Walmart and Sam's Club have been named Donor of the Year by Feeding America, the nation's leading hunger-relief organization, after providing outstanding donations of food, funds and vehicles during 2009.
At the organization's annual conference tonight in Austin, Texas, which will include representatives from Feeding America's network of more than 200 food banks, Feeding America President and CEO Vicki Escarra will present the Donor of the Year award to Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation.
"We are tremendously grateful to our committed partners in the fight against domestic hunger: Walmart and Sam's Club," Escarra said."With 49 million people struggling with hunger, our country is in crisis. Thanks to our dedicated partners at Walmart and Sam's Club, Feeding America and our network of food banks are able to provide nutritious food to millions more people in need."
Food donations from Walmart and Sam's Club during 2009 totaled a record 116-million pounds – the largest-ever annual food donation to Feeding America. The company is the first donor to provide more than 100-million pounds of food during one calendar year in Feeding America's history.
"In these economic times, we've challenged ourselves to look at ways to make long-lasting impacts in communities by focusing on programs that address critical needs. In this country, hunger may be one of the most critical needs of all," McKenna said."Our partnership with Feeding America is helping us do our part to put more food on the dinner table, and we'll continue to look for ways to bring our business and our charitable giving together to end hunger in the U.S."
In November, Walmart donated 35 brand new refrigerated trucks to Feeding America network food banks across the country. The trucks, valued at $3 million went to 35 food banks in 24 states loaded with Great Value-branded products and fresh apples. The trucks are estimated to enable the food banks to transport up to 52.5 million more pounds of food every year.
These refrigerated trucks provide safe and better access for people struggling with hunger to the healthy food that is needed most, as nutritious, protein-filled foods like meat and dairy are the most costly and least accessible for clients served through Feeding America's network.
In addition, donations to Feeding America from Walmart associates generated nearly $740,000 for Feeding America during 2009.
"We are so proud to announce Walmart and Sam's club as our Donor of the Year," Escarra said."The insightful, generous donations through this impactful partnership have been truly extraordinary. No American should go hungry, and we thank Walmart and Sam's Club for joining us in the fight against hunger."
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From Feb. 1, 2009, through Jan. 31, 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally, including donating 127 million pounds of nutritious food to U.S. food banks. To learn more, visitwww.walmartfoundation.org