Walmart and Sam’s Clubs’ Impact Goes Beyond its Fight Hunger. Spark Change. Campaign

The retail stores support the North Texas Food Bank and its partners with food and grants to help provide meals for those facing hunger.

Walmart

April 29 marks the end of Walmart and Sam’s Club’s 11th annual Fight Hunger. Spark Change. Campaign, but the campaign is just one piece of the retailers’ significant impact on North Texans facing hunger.

“We are thankful for corporate partners like Walmart and Sam’s Clubs that recognize the growing issue of hunger and look for ways to contribute to organizations addressing this complex problem,” said Trisha Cunningham, President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank.

A recent USDA study showed that Texas is the second-hungriest state in the nation, and in fact, the 13 counties that the NTFB serves have the fourth-highest number of people who face food insecurity across the country. In North Texas, about 640,000 people don’t know where their next meal will come from, and tragically more than one-third of those are children. The number of people facing hunger in North Texas could fill the Globe Life Stadium 16 times.

The Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign gives shoppers the chance to support those neighbors by donating at checkout, online or by purchasing participating products between April 1 and 29. Since its inception in 2014, the campaign has generated more than $186 million and helped secure nearly 1.9 billion meals for the Feeding America network of local food banks. Last year alone, it raised nearly $403,000 for the NTFB.

Volunteers from area stores also gave their time this month to help sort and package food for neighbors at the NTFB Perot Family Campus.

Photo going here from April 30 shift

In addition to the annual Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign, Walmart and Sam’s Club generously invest their resources at food banks nationwide, including at NTFB.

Retail Agency Capacity Building Grants from the Walmart Foundation and Feeding America were awarded to a total of 20 Feeding America partner food banks, including NTFB, as part of a continuing, multi-year partnership to strengthen food banks and agency partners in rural communities and communities of color disproportionately affected by food insecurity.

At the NTFB, the funds are enhancing the retail rescue program in which fresh, frozen and shelf-stable foods are donated by grocers for pickup by NTFB and its Partner Agencies.

Several NTFB partner pantries pickup groceries from Walmart and Sam’s Club locations each month, including Amazing Grace Food Pantry, 5 Loaves Food Pantry, the Chocolate Mint Foundation, Kaufman Christian Help Center, Sharing Life and Care Center Ministries, which says the donations are crucial to their ability to serve neighbors facing hunger.

“Walmart and Sam’s Club have been instrumental in providing us with fresh produce and meat to be able to sustain our neighbors,” says Merideth DePriest, Director of Development/Operations. “With the prices of food so high and our target demographic being low-income, most of our clients depend on what we are able to provide from Walmart and Sam’s! We are so grateful!”

With the grant funding, NTFB and its Partner Agencies will be able to increase the number of weekly food pickups through the purchase of new equipment, such as refrigerated vans, freezers and forklifts. Grant funding is also going toward adding resources like staffing, training and new technology to grow capacity.

Already, grant money has helped partner pantries to purchase new refrigerators and freezers, and additional projects are in progress, including the purchase or preowned refrigerated trucks to help with food pickup, warehouse shelving, an electric forklift and other equipment.

At 5 Loaves Food Pantry in Sachse, for example, funds went toward a new pallet stacker that will help during the organization’s drive-thru pantry, which operates three days a week, and includes items donated through Walmart and Sam’s Clubs’ retail rescue program.

NTFB is grateful for the partnership of Walmart and Sam’s Club during it’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign and throughout the year.

Find out more about how to get involved in the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign here.

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