On Thursday, July 30, Walmart announced that Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland (FAKH) Food Bank has received $120,873.59 from two charitable campaigns over the last three months. Residents across the 42 counties served by FAKH generated a total of $60,873.59, for the food bank through Walmart’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign and another $60,000 was donated by Walmart to support the food bank’s Mobile Food Pantry initiative.
The Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign offered customers the opportunity to help fight hunger from April 6 to May 3, 2015 by making a donation to their local Feeding America food bank at a Walmart register, or purchasing select products from some of the nation’s leading food companies: Campbell’s, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Kraft, and Unilever. In addition, the public participated in the #WeSparkChange social media challenge. Customers were asked to take a picture of six friends who share their commitment to fight hunger and post a public picture on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #WeSparkChange. For each post, Walmart donated $10 to Feeding America on behalf of its affiliate food banks.
In addition to the money raised through the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign, Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland was awarded a state giving grant from the Walmart Foundation in the amount of $60,000, which the food bank intends to use in support of its Mobile Food Pantry program.
“We are so grateful to everyone who participated in Walmart’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change. this year. Your support has helped us secure critical meals for women, children, and seniors who struggle with hunger across our service area,” said Amber Lyvers, Development Director of Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland. “In addition, the grant from the WalMart Foundation will allow us to distribute approximately 600,000lbs of fresh Kentucky produce and food items to those across our 42 counties. We couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming months!”
Hunger is a nationwide problem with local implications in every community across the United States. One in six people in America will struggle with hunger at some point during the year, according to the USDA. Feeding America estimates over 220,000 children in Kentucky are food insecure.
“We take pride in giving back to local communities and empowering residents to support their neighbors in need,” said Karrie Dennison, Director of Hunger and Nutrition for Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. “With 49 million Americans struggling with hunger today, we are dedicated to helping families access affordable, nutritious and sustainably grown food. With the support of our customers, associates and Feeding America, we will continue our work to help every family have access to the food they need.”
The Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign and state giving grants are just two of Walmart’s many efforts to provide meals to those in need, helping ensure every family has access to affordable, nutritious and sustainably grown food. As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is in a unique leadership position to help impact the issue of hunger in the United States. Last year, Walmart announced a commitment to create a more sustainable food system, with a focus on improving the affordability of food by lowering the “true cost” of food for both customers and the environment, increasing access to food, making healthier eating easier, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain. This commitment includes a goal of providing four billion meals to those in need in the U.S. over the next five years.