The holidays are a time of giving, but they are also a time of great need. Food insecurity continues plaguing families and individuals across the country, with an estimated 1 in 6 at risk of hunger as a result of COVID-19. This is compared to a pre-pandemic number of 1 in 9 struggling with food insecurity, according to Feeding America a hunger-relief organization. As a result, food banks and pantries are having difficulties keeping up with demand.
To help organizations meet the increased demand during the holidays and beyond, the Walmart Foundation is granting Feeding America $12 million over two years and is encouraging its stores, clubs, and distribution centers in the U.S. to commit funds and product donations to hunger-relief organizations through the end of the year.
“At our local Walmart stores, we want to ensure we are doing what we can to give back to our communities. The economic impact of COVID-19 has hit many families extremely hard, and food insecurity has become more common because of it,” said Aubrey Swift, vice president regional manager in Northern California. “We hope that with continued donations from our local Walmart stores, and from our corporate headquarters, we can help feed all families who face hunger this holiday season, and as long as food insecurity persists.”
Throughout the years Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have supported hunger-relief organizations; in 2019 in California, Walmart and Sam’s Club donated more than 26,000,000 pounds of food to local food banks.
In 2020, more than 5,000 hunger-relief organizations in the U.S. have received support from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation through the donation of 480 million pounds of food and over $55 million in grants for hunger relief. Complemented by these efforts, Walmart customers, Sam’s Club members, and suppliers have raised and donated nearly $18 million for hunger relief.