Online Voting Campaign Set to Distribute $1.5 Million in Grants to Help 75 Food Pantries Meet Demands for Hunger Relief Across the Country
BENTONVILLE, Ark., Dec. 2, 2014 – Today, on Giving Tuesday, Walmart launches the Food Pantry Holiday Makeover campaign, a nationwide effort calling on the public to help food pantries across the country win funds for facility makeovers this holiday season. The campaign will donate $1.5 million in grants to 75 food pantries, which will be used to purchase new equipment and renovate their facilities. As part of the campaign, Walmart is teaming up with DIY expert, licensed electrician and contractor, and TV host, James Young and calling on the public to support their local food pantries by voting online at www.walmart.com/holidaymakeover.
The campaign launches during a critical time when food pantries across the country are facing high rates of hunger and preparing for their busiest time of year. According to the most recent USDA report, more than 49 million Americans, including 16 million children, experienced food insecurity in 2013[i]. Providing meals to families is a multi-step process that requires food pantries to not only have food on hand, but be well-equipped to safely store, prepare, serve and transport food to enable families to put fresh and healthy meals on their tables.
“Food pantries play a vital role in providing healthy meals to their communities. As they face great demand this winter, we’re working to make a positive impact by ensuring that they have the infrastructure to safely prepare and store food so more families can have access to healthier meals,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of Walmart Sustainability. “We could not think of a better time than Giving Tuesday to kick off our campaign and give everyone in America the chance to help their local food pantry win an extra special gift this holiday season with just the click of a button.”
From now until Dec. 12, the public can visit www.walmart.com/holidaymakeover to cast one vote per day to help a participating food pantry. The 75 winning food pantries with the most votes at the end of the voting period will each receive a $20,000 grant. These grants will be used for important makeovers that may include the purchase of new kitchen and storage equipment, furniture, paint and other supplies that are needed to support food pantry operations and, in turn, the families they serve. One food pantry also will be selected by James Young to receive an in-person design consultation to help maximize their grant and make facility updates.
“The thing I love most about my job is helping people make positive life changes by improving their kitchen, which is the heart of any home,” said James Young. “Walmart’s Food Pantry Holiday Makeover campaign gives everyone the chance to support their local food pantries so they can make important updates to their own kitchens and facilities. With new equipment, storage systems and new furniture, the food pantries will be able to streamline their processes and help get needed food into the hands of more families.”
The Food Pantry Holiday Makeover campaign is another step towards Walmart’s goal to provide access to affordable, nutritious, sustainably-grown food. As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart recently 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.
To vote and learn more about the campaign visit www.walmart.com/holidaymakeover.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better -- anytime and anywhere -- in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 250 million customers and members visit our 11,156 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.