As leading organizations in helping to fight hunger, Feeding America and Walmart have achieved an important milestone in their partnership this week–more than one billion meals in food and products have been distributed to people in need since 2005.
This achievement marks the first time a Feeding America corporate partner has exceeded the one billion meals mark through product donations to the nationwide network of food banks.
"By reaching the one 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 Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief charity. "On behalf of the 37 million clients of Feeding America and our national network of food banks, I would like to say 'thank you' to Walmart and its associates for helping us fight hunger together."
"The one 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," Aiken continued.
Food and products are critical to the 200 food banks and 61,000 agencies across the country that make up the Feeding America network. Merchandise from local Walmart stores goes directly to help feed the 1 in 6 Americans facing hunger. Programs such as the BackPack Program for kids and soup kitchens catering to seniors and vets are all recipients of Walmart donations.
The donation comes at a critical time in the fight to end hunger. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 50 million people in the United States are struggling with hunger. Of that number, nearly 17 million are children.
"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," said 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, and we are proud to partner with Feeding America to achieve this milestone."
Walmart's partnership extends throughout Feeding America's network of food banks with virtually every member getting critically-needed perishable foods such as meat, dairy and produce directly from a local Walmart store or Sam's Club through the retail donation program.
In 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation made a historic $2 billion commitment to help end hunger in America. This includes providing more than one billion pounds of food from Walmart facilities and giving $250 million to hunger-relief organizations through 2015. Walmart also committed to raising awareness about the issue of hunger in America to its millions of customers and associates and to collaborate with business, government, food manufacturers and other corporations to help fight 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 committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief and Nutrition, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women's Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than one billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart's giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.