Released by Karolyn Davis with East Texas Food Bank:
TYLER, TX - As Walmart and the Walmart Foundation continue "Walmart Gives Back," a holiday giving initiative that will provide $32 million in monetary and in-kind donations to charitable organizations across the U.S., a refrigerator truck donated by the Walmart Foundation will arrive at East Texas Food Bank to help feed East Texas families in need. The truck is one of 35 that departed from Madison, Wis., earlier this month headed to Feeding America food banks in local communities across the country.
Valued at $85,000, the new truck and 12 pallets of Great Value-branded products and fresh apples will arrive in East Texas in time for Thanksgiving. Feeding America estimates the new trucks will help the East Texas Food Bank and 34 additional food banks to transport up 52.5 million pounds of food, the equivalent to 41 million additional meals, per year.
"In this economy, families and seniors across the country who rely on food banks have been hit especially hard," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. "As Walmart stores continue to be the price leader on groceries, our partnership with Feeding America is helping us do our part to put more food on the dinner table. Our business and our charitable giving are united in the commitment to eradicate hunger in America."
"We are grateful to Walmart's generous donation and know that this will allow us to provide more food to East Texas families who are struggling due to the economy," said Jim Rice, interim executive director of the East Texas Food Bank. "The refrigerated truck will be used in our Store Donation Program and will allow the East Texas Food Bank to pick up an additional 650,000 pounds of food a year from local retailers."
Walmart's donated food trucks are in response to a call from food banks that were unable to safely transport nutritious produce, deli meat, beef, chicken, dairy and other groceries. Since last November, Walmart stores and Sam's Club locations have donated more than 90 million pounds of food – the equivalent of 70 million meals – to Feeding America food banks, exceeding the company's goal and making Walmart Feeding America's largest food donor.
As in years past, the majority of Walmart's holiday giving will happen at the local level with more than $24 million donated from the Walmart Foundation to nonprofits in the communities where Walmart's 4,000 stores and clubs are located. In addition, the Walmart Foundation will, once again, donate $1.25 million to The Salvation Army and Red Kettles will fundraise at Walmart stores and Sam's Club locations nationwide from Friday, Nov. 27 through Thursday, Dec. 24. Later this holiday season, Walmart will announce additional recipients of its Walmart Gives Back holiday giving. For more information, visit www.walmartgiving.com.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart – and its domestic and international foundations – gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.
About East Texas Food Bank
The East Texas Food Bank distributes more than 16 million pounds of food each year to over 200 partner agencies in 26 East Texas counties. Our vision is for a hunger-free East Texas and our mission is to reduce hunger by providing food, support and education to those in need with passion and efficiency. Our purpose is to ensure that no one in East Texas is forced to go without food. The East Texas Food Bank is a member of Feeding America. To learn more, please visit www.easttexasfoodbank.org.