Serving Up Makeovers for Community Food Pantries

By Shannon Frederick
December 2, 2014
Food pantry makeover

Willie Cochran of Talladega, Alabama, thinks about food almost all the time. But it’s not her next meal she’s concerned with – it’s concern for the people who depend on Red Door Kitchen food pantry.

When she retired in 2000, she wasn’t ready to stop working, so she started picking up food at a local grocery store to share with those in the community who were in need. That led her to Red Door Kitchen, where she’s worked for the last 14 years.

According to Feeding America, nearly 19% of people in Talladega don’t know where their next meal will come from at some point throughout the year, and Willie has made it her mission to help as many people as possible in her hometown. She starts her day at 6:30 a.m. working with a dedicated team of volunteers to prepare meals hundreds of people count on every day. Another small army of volunteers picks up the meals and delivers them throughout the community. Many of the recipients are disabled or elderly, so these volunteers are often the only people they see on a regular basis.

What began as a kind deed for friends and neighbors has turned into a second career for Willie, which is a testament to just how much a food pantry is needed in Talladega and other communities like it. Red Door Kitchen is only one example of the thousands of food pantries that exist across the country that depend on local volunteers, donations and grants in order to feed those in need.

Beginning today, you have a chance to help food pantries just like the Red Door by visiting www.walmart.com/holidaymakeover. Walmart believes that no family should have to worry about where they’re getting their next meal. We’ve made a commitment to fight hunger in the U.S. and donate millions of pounds of food each year, but we know that food pantries also need help with the things that keep them operating – like freezers, ovens and kitchens that help them provide fresh meals. So this holiday season, we’re donating $1.5 million in grants to food pantries to give them the makeovers they need to continue serving the one in seven Americans facing hunger. We want to make sure these facilities – which are vital in so many communities – have the means to serve those who would otherwise go hungry.

Starting today through Dec. 12, you can vote daily for your favorite participating local food pantry to receive a grant for a makeover this holiday season. The 75 food pantries that generate the most online votes will each receive $20,000 for a makeover that will provide them with the equipment, furniture and paint they need to support families struggling with hunger in their local communities.  

Does your community have a food pantry like Red Door Kitchen? Go to www.walmart.com/holidaymakeover to see if your local food pantry could receive a grant, and cast your vote today!