Over the past few years, one of my favorite aspects of being a Walmart mom has been the opportunity to give back to the community and fight hunger. In 2010, I was lucky enough to visit Washington, DC and work at a local food bank with Walmart employee volunteers. It was an amazing experience! In May of 2010 Walmart pledged $2 BILLION to fight hunger in the United States and has developed partnerships throughout the nation with community food banks. Here in Atlanta that partnership is with the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). I had the opportunity to speak with Angela Clawson of ACFB to get more detail about the link with Walmart and the needs of the organization.
What is the relationship between the Atlanta Community Food Bank Walmart?
Walmart is a major donor to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. They donate food as well as money through some individual store grants. In addition they are a sponsor of one of our biggest fundraisers, Hunger Walk/Run.
How much food is donated by Walmart?
We regularly pick up reclaimed food from over 80 stores, which includes Sam's Club locations. Last fiscal year (July 2011-June 2012) they donated over 8.5 million pounds of food.
Are the needs of ACFB higher during the holidays?
The support we get during the holiday season helps us meet the need during the winter months, but the time of year with the most need is actually summer when kids are out of school and parents have to feed them all three meals at home.
What specific products are needed?
Canned TunaCanned BeansCanned Soups, Stews and Pastas100% Fruit JuiceMacaroni and Cheese DinnersWhole Grain, Low Sugar Cereals
How can people help?
The best thing to do is visit our web site ACFB.org to find ways to help. We have volunteer opportunities but those are few and far between during the holidays because space fills up fast. BUT, people can of course donate money (for every $1 donated, we can put $8.47 back into the community) host a food drive (live or virtual), schedule a Hunger 101 class for a group to learn more about the issue, or attend a fundraising event among other things.
As you can see, the work of the Atlanta Community food bank is amazing. The organization distributed over 35 million pounds of food this past fiscal year. In the past four years, the distribution has grown 85% due to the economy.
Here is a video that highlights some of the work that Walmart is doing to fight hunger, specifically as it effects children.
If you are here in Atlanta, please consider helping the Atlanta Community Food Bank as they fight hunger. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about the necessity to give back!