I had a really cool opportunity to purchase $50 worth of groceries to donate to my local food pantry here in Georgia thanks to Walmart. This opportunity came to me as a Walmart Mom to help get the word out about their campaign to Fight Hunger. Right now, Walmart is hosting an in-store food drive through November 22nd. All the donations will go to YOUR local food banks.
What a great opportunity to help feed someone who is hungry in your local community! It takes very little effort on your part. Just pick up $5, $10, $20 or more worth of groceries – whatever you can spare and drop it in one of the bins conveniently located right at the doors at your local Walmart.
Did you know 1 in 6 people in America don’t know where their next meal is coming from?
Through this experience I also had the opportunity to meet with the pastor that heads up our local Feeding America Food Pantry. He showed my husband and I where they store the food and how they pack boxes three days a week with a volunteer staff to feed the hungry families in our local county. In our tiny county, they feed approximately 180 families each month. That was a real eye opener to me. Something else he told me that came as a surprise is how many of those “families” were actually senior citizens that just needed a little help to get by while they wait on their social security checks. It shouldn’t come as a surprise considering 1 in 9 seniors are at risk of hunger in America.
Although there isn’t much time left on this promotion, you should know that Walmart is doing their part to fight hunger year round and have committed to donating $2 million through the year 2015. While I met with the pastor, Jimmy Weaver and my local Walmart manager, Jeremy Lightsey, I learned that my Walmart donates all their surplus to the Feeding America food pantry so that they can get the food out to families in need. So three days a week, every week, the volunteer staff at Dry Valley Baptist Church and 23 other local area churches, take turns picking up the food at Walmart and packing it into boxes to feed 15 families each day. Every day of the month those 15 families are different (they can only be helped once a month) totaling an average of 180 families per month.
The food that comes from Walmart are things that are still in good condition but are no longer good to sell, things like fresh produce (I saw a lot of pre-cut fruit and veggies going out the day I was there), milk, eggs, meat, bakery & deli items, and lots of bread. And, it really is a lot of food – enough to fill a banana box for each family. This is stuff that would otherwise be wasted and thrown out… and Walmart found a way to do something good with it! And, my county isn’t the only one doing this. There are Walmarts all over the country that are donating surplus to local food banks.
So, even if you can’t get involved with this food drive, I urge you to find your local food bank and find out how you can get involved, either by donating food, organizing a food drive, or volunteering your time. Thanksgiving isn’t the only time when people need help finding their next meal.
Walmart provided me with a gift card to purchase the food for donation as well as compensation for making a video about my experience. Participation was voluntary. The opinions and experience are all my own!