Walmart, through the Walmart Foundation, will grant $12 million over two years to hunger-relief organization Feeding America, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer announced Dec. 17.
The grant will support Feeding America member food banks as well as the expansion of the Order Ahead click-and-collect app. Order Ahead allows individuals and households experiencing hunger to order ahead from a food bank and pick up their order at a designated location or have it delivered. This can not only help ease lines and shorten wait times at food banks during distribution hours, but also it can give families expanded choice in selecting items, helping avoid food waste.
Since Feb. 1, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have supplied more than $55 million in hunger-relief grants and more than 480 million pounds of food to hunger-relief organizations, Walmart stated in its news release. More than 5,000 hunger-targeting organizations have received support from Walmart this year.
Feeding America notes on its blog that an estimated 1 in 6 individuals in the U.S. could face hunger as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that from March through June 2020, 40% of those visiting food banks were doing so for the first time. More than 80% of U.S. food banks are serving more individuals than they were a year ago.
Walmart's long-standing support "has been transformational for the fight to end hunger," Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, stated in the release.
Walmart also is making a push for its facilities across the country to support year-end hunger-relief efforts. Earlier this week, the company noted in its news release, Walmart stores, clubs and distribution centers were urged to appoint a "hunger champion" for their respective facilities to coordinate hunger-relief initiatives.