Approximately 11% of state’s population consistently struggles to get enough to eat; research shows hunger impacts learning, health, and productivity
Image courtesy of Feeding America
Inland Empire, Calif., September 26, 2019 – While food insecurity is more prevalent in some parts of the country, the reality is that it exists in all communities. According to the US Department of Agriculture, nearly 40 million people face hunger in the U.S., including an estimated 4,354,400 individuals in California.
Walmart is deeply committed to fighting hunger and, as part of its efforts, collaborates with Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, year-round to support their network of 200-member food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs nationwide.
This year, through the retailer’s spring “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, Walmart and Sam’s Club customers and associates raised more than $1,298,198 for California food banks, helping them provide healthy, nutritious meals to individuals and families struggling to get enough to eat.
Since 2014, the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign has helped raise more than $5,269,689 for California food banks, helping secure more than 1 billion meals* for food banks nationwide. In 2019 in the Inland Empire and Indio, Walmart and its partners donated $164,844 to Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino Counties Food Bank and $43,419 to Find Food Bank.
“Fighting hunger in our communities is extremely important to our stores, clubs and distribution centers, and Walmart as a company. Together with our customers, associates and suppliers, we are making strides toward hunger relief,” said Todd Siron, Walmart regional vice president for California. “We’re proud to be able to provide our local food banks with the support they need to truly make a difference in the lives of the families that rely upon them.”
In addition to monetary contributions, retail food donations are also an important part of Feeding America’s strategy for fighting hunger, accounting for the largest single source of meals the organization provided to people facing hunger last year.
In 2018, 1.4 billion meals – 32.5% of total meals provided by Feeding America partners—resulted from retail food donations. In California last year Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs, and distribution centers donated more than 28 million lbs. of food to California food banks and affiliated pantries, resulting in thousands of meals for California families and individuals.
“Every day, Feeding America member food banks see the impact that hunger has on children, families, seniors and communities. We encourage everyone to find their local food bank and take action to help end hunger,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “Community support is essential to helping our neighbors in need and we are tremendously grateful to Walmart, Sam’s Club and their dedicated suppliers, associates and customers for their commitment to helping people who struggle to put food on their tables.”
Hunger can affect individuals from all walks of life, but some populations are more at risk. In California, children are one of the most vulnerable groups to food insecurity. According to Feeding America, hungry children are more likely to be hospitalized and face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. As they grow up, kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations.
As Hunger Action Month comes to a close on September 30, Walmart and Feeding America want to remind everyone that every action counts in the fight against hunger. Individuals can take action today to help fight hunger in their communities by volunteering their time or donating to any of the 200-member food banks or 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that comprise the Feeding America network. Go to www.hungeractionmonth.com to learn more and find a local Feeding America partner near you. Learn more about what Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are doing to help in these efforts at Walmart.org.
Walmart 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. In California, we serve customers at 303 retail units and online through Walmart Online Grocery, http://Walmart.com and our family of brands. We are proud to employ 91,124 associates in California. Walmart supports local businesses, spending $24 billion with California suppliers in FYE18 and supporting 257,706 California supplier jobs. Walmart continues to be a leader in employment opportunity, sustainability, and corporate philanthropy. In FY18, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation contributed more than $61 million in cash and in-kind donations to local nonprofits in California and our California associates volunteered more than 39 thousand hours with local causes. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting our corporate.walmart.com, and our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram channels.
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of member food banks. This meal calculation is updated annually based on fiscal year financial and operational results. Campaign dates: 4/22/19 – 5/20/19.