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300 food banks benefit from Walmart’s fight-hunger campaign

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart and its philanthropic arm, the Walmart Foundation, were busy working alongside notable food companies in April, as part of the corporation’s Fighting Hunger Together Initiative.

Between April 1 and April 30, more than 443,000 votes were cast for the more than 300 eligible Feeding America food banks and partner agencies as part of the campaign, which fights hunger in local communities.

Walmart set up a landing page on its website where customers were able to vote for eligible organizations. As a result, 100 food banks and partner feeding agencies won a total of $3 million in grants, provided by the discount retailer this spring. The funds will be distributed by Feeding America, the nation’s leading hunger relief organization. These grants will help support a number of programs, including local backpack programs that provide vital meals to children when they are out of school and community gardens that teach families how to grow their own healthy foods.

Campbell’s Soup, ConAgra Foods, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, General Mills, Kraft Foods Group, Kellogg Company, Mondelez International, Nestlé USA, PepsiCo and Unilever all participated in the campaign.

“We hope that the organizations benefitting from these funds will be able to continue and expand the positive work they are doing in local communities,” said Julie Gehrki, senior director of the Walmart Foundation. “We want to thank all those who participated in this campaign for their commitment to hunger relief, and we hope that the impact of the grant dollars we award will combine with new volunteers and greater public awareness of this issue to make a lasting impact in communities throughout the country.”

With the help of ConAgra Foods, General Mills and Kellogg Company, Walmart was able to generate an additional 136,000 meals for Feeding America food banks through local market food drive events. Joining the General Mills event in Atlanta was country music artist Thomas Rhett, meanwhile in Nashville, Emmy Award-winning analyst for ESPN’s College GameDay, Kirk Herbstreit, partnered with Walmart and Kellogg.

The Fighting Hunger Together initiative is part of Walmart’s and its foundation’s $2 billion commitment through 2015 to fight hunger. As a part of this commitment, the corporation and its foundation pledged to donate more than 1.1 billion pounds of food from its stores, distribution centers and Sam’s Club locations, valued at $1.75 billion, as well as $250 million in grants to support hunger relief organizations.

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Walmart encourages customers to give back

BY CSA STAFF

SALT LAKE CITY — As part of its philanthropic efforts, Walmart is holding a fundraiser between now and Friday, June 21 benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Walmart is inviting customers and Sam’s Club members to make a $1 donation or more at the retailers’ more than 4,600 U.S. locations. Participants can add a “Miracle Balloon” donation during checkout, and 100% of all funds raised will go directly to the member hospital in the area.

In 2012, Walmart and Sam’s Club efforts in U.S. and Canada helped raise more than $64 million, or an average of $122 per minute. During those 60 seconds, 62 North American kids entered a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for an injury or illness, of whom 11 required life-saving treatment in emergency rooms.

“Donations from Walmart and Sam’s Club customers and members each year are vital to provide what every child deserves — the opportunity to ‘live better’ by receiving the best in localized care,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “We are so appreciative of the give-back spirit and unwavering encouragement that associates bring to our fundraising campaign, and continue to be humbled by the generosity displayed every day at store registers.”

Since 1987, Walmart and Sam’s Club fundraising in the U.S. and Canada has provided more than $650 million for pediatric care. Funds are used by the community hospital depending on the greatest need — helping to provide needed charitable care, establish critical care wings, introduce therapy programs and fund specialized, life-saving treatment and equipment.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4.7 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

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Retailers see mixed results in April

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — The Buckle and Zumiez all reported better-than-expected same-store sales for April, even as concerns about the job market bit into other retailers’ results.

The Buckle, Inc. reported a 6.2% increase in same-store sales for April, well ahead of the 1.5% same-store revenue growth anticipated by Wall Street analysts. The teen apparel retailer also reported year-to-date same-store revenue growth of 1.2% and total sales of $269.7 million, a 2.3% increase.

Zumiez, also a teen fave, reported a 4.6% gain in same-store sales in April, ahead of predictions for a 3.3% increase. Total net sales for the four-week period ended May 4, 2013 increased 12.1% to $43.0 million.

At Costco Wholesale Corp, same-store sales in April rose 4%, just missing estimates, hurt by sharply lower fuel prices compared to last year. Net sales for the four weeks ending May 5 totaled $7.98 million, up 7% from $7.48 million during the same period a year earlier. In addition, Costco reported $69 billion in net sales for the 35 weeks ending May 5, a 9% increase from $63.59 billion a year earlier. Total comparable store sales improved 6% in the same time period.

L Brands (parent of Victoria’s Secret) reported smaller-than-expected sales gains in April, as concerns about the job market and the economic recovery continue to concern consumers. At L Brands, same-store sales rose 2%, less than the 4.6% increase analysts had expected.

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