May 15, 2019
By Janey Whiteside, Chief Customer Officer, Walmart
A lot of times when you think about Walmart, you think about how big it is, right? We have 4,700 stores in the U.S. alone. But, if you take a minute to think about it, what’s unique about Walmart is that we have a physical presence in local communities. You walk into one of our stores, and you see your neighbors.
We consider it our responsibility to make a positive impact in the communities where we operate. When communities are strong, and when the individuals who make up those communities thrive, we all win. At Walmart, that means we do all we can to help lower the cost of living for families, so they can save money and live better. We also help grow strong communities by investing in education and fighting hunger.
Have you ever met someone and feel like they just get it? Well, that just happened to us… with LeBron James.
LeBron cares about his community and making it a better place. He cares about making a difference, and together we can both make a bigger difference. We share a commitment to improving the communities where we live and work. We’re excited that together we are investing in education, fighting hunger and helping people live better.
One in eight Americans struggle with hunger. That’s 41 million people, including nearly 13 million children. At Walmart, we’re dedicated to the fight against hunger and are determined to help families who need access to nutritious food. And, so is LeBron. Walmart helped Feeding America secure 750 million meals over the last 5 years through our Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign. The campaign is underway this year, and we hope our cumulative total will hit the 1 billion meal mark. We are well on our way and with LeBron’s help we know we can pass that mark.
On Wednesday, LeBron’s personally curated collection of items will launch online highlighting some of the foods featured in the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. initiative, drawing on his own experience growing up.
When Walmart thinks about education, we ask, “How can we help people reach their potential?” It’s a question that LeBron has asked himself and what led to the creation of the I PROMISE School (IPS) in Akron, Ohio. In 2018, the LeBron James Family Foundation opened the groundbreaking public school for at-risk kids and families, with the vision to create a place for the kids in Akron who need it most – those who could fall through the cracks if they don’t get the resources and support they need. The first year of classes at the school is about to wrap up, and early test results are impressive. Recognizing the important role nutritious food plays in a student’s ability to learn, Walmart will help keep the I PROMISE Pantry at IPS - a resource that is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week for all I PROMISE families - fully stocked with fresh and frozen food, toiletries and other basic necessities.
Our interest in education doesn’t end early. We want students in schools to do well and graduate. And after they graduate, we want to support them in their careers. Live Better U at Walmart, through Guild Education, supports education at every level: $1 a day college, cost-free high school education, discounts on higher education programs like master’s degrees, foreign language learning and more. Similarly, LeBron’s I PROMISE Too program offers parents and family members the opportunity to earn their GEDs right on site at the I PROMISE School.
LeBron will also be a part of our upcoming Back to School campaign, helping to prepare students and families for school with the confidence and tools they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond.
We are so excited to see where the partnership can go and what we can do together to make an impact in communities across the country. Check out our CEO, Doug McMillon, and LeBron talk more about why this work matters so much to them and their communities.