Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated grants totaling $442,000 to 11 nonprofits in central Arkansas as part of its “Day of Giving” event. In a ceremony at the Walmart on Baseline Road in Little Rock, oversized checks were handed out to the following groups:
· The Arkansas Food Bank will receive $75,000 for the Fight Hunger Initiative
· Our House will receive $50,000 to go towards the Food and Wellness Program
· River City Ministry of Pulaski County will receive $36,000 for the soup kitchen
· White River Area Agency on Aging will receive $46,000 for the community meal-delivery truck
· The Society of Saint Andrew will receive $25,000 for Arkansas Gleaning Network
· White River Health System will receive $25,000 that will be used for the Senior Life Centers Nutrition and Health program
· Arkansas Community Foundation will receive $75,000 for Mission of Mercy 2018 in Conway
· Community Empowerment Council will receive $30,000 for the after-school program
· Museum of Discovery will receive $25,000 to enhance the STEM summer program
· P.A.R.K. will receive $25,000 for closing the gap
· Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas will receive $30,000 for healthy eating and wellness classes for families under stress
The majority of the monies distributed will go to hunger relief and nutrition efforts.
“We do mainly two things with it,” said Rhonda Sanders, CEO of the Arkansas Food Bank. “We give capacity grants to our local agencies – 300-plus of them in 33 counties. We help them get freezers, refrigerators, food credits that they desperately need to open the doors and feed people. Then we also help provide backpacks to over a 101 schools. We’ve targeted specific schools in the Delta where they have very few resources.”
The backpacks are sent home with students who face food insecurity over the weekends in order to provide nutrition needs to schoolchildren.
“This is part of our DNA as a company,” said Michael Lindsey, Director Walmart Public Affairs. “One of the biggest issues we try to focus on is hunger relief. We’re seeing some of these nonprofits across the state expand their programs. There’s a true hunger problem in Arkansas… This is a way for us to help try address this issue.”
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $28.03 million in cash and in-kind contributions last fiscal year to support nonprofit organizations and programs in Arkansas focused on fighting hunger and healthy eating, veteran reintegration, workforce development, disaster preparedness and other needs specific to many Arkansas communities.