BENTONVILLE, Ark., Dec. 18, 2007 – Responding to a nationwide food and grocery shortage in food banks this holiday season, Wal-Mart today announced that it is donating 3 million meals, the equivalent of $1 million, to America’s Second Harvest – the nation’s largest charitable hunger-relief organization. The majority of the donation comes in the form of 50 food-filled trucks being dispatched to food banks servicing every state in the nation. Wal-Mart’s contribution will provide much-needed meals to communities throughout the country just in time for the holidays.
Wal-Mart was alerted to the food shortage through a call to action sent out by its philanthropic partner America’s Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network. The first corporation in the country to respond to the request, the retailer’s contribution will supply more than 25 percent of the nearly 12 million meals needed in order to stave off the shortage.
“The hunger crisis our nation’s food banks are currently facing is something that all of us at Wal-Mart care about and are taking very seriously,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “We are pleased to be in a position to respond to the call to action from America’s Second Harvest, and hope that this donation will help them to feed those who are hungry this holiday season.”
Wal-Mart stocked the trucks with such staples as macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti pasta and sauce, as well as corn, beans and potatoes. All trucks will arrive at food banks for the holidays.
“We are extremely grateful to Wal-Mart for coming through in such a big way for our food banks to help more hungry Americans as we face one of the worst shortages of food bank supplies in our history,” said Vicki Escarra, president of America’s Second Harvest. “We hope that other corporations, organizations and individuals are able to dig a little deeper this year so that no one goes hungry, especially over the holidays.”
The partnership between Wal-Mart and America’s Second Harvest began in 2005 when the two organizations worked together to support hurricane relief efforts. Since that time, Wal-Mart and its customers have contributed approximately $15 million to food banks across America to help feed individuals at risk of hunger. In addition, the retailer works exclusively with America’s Second Harvest on its food reclamation program, which last year provided 14 million pounds of dry grocery items valued at $21 million to U.S. food banks and related organizations.
Personal donations to America’s Second Harvest can be made online at www.secondharvest.org.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.
About America’s Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network
America’s Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network is the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through its network of more than 200 member food banks, America’s Second Harvest annually provides assistance to more than 25 million people in need, including more than 9 million children and nearly 3 million seniors in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each year, America’s Second Harvest secures and distributes more than 2 billion pounds of food and grocery products to support feeding programs at approximately 50,000 local charitable agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs, and Kids Cafes. To learn more, please visit www.secondharvest.org.