Fighting hunger with Food Banks: Sustainable giving
Building on our mission to help families in need, Walmart Canada and Walmart Canada Bank ramped up its support of local food banks across Canada for a total contribution of $876,000 last year.
But our support is about more than dollars and cents. We are helping the food banks in the fight against hunger through a combination of targeted fundraising, food donations from our stores, and partnerships with the food banks themselves. Importantly, we are determined to contribute in an integrated and sustainable way.
“Food banks play a vital role in supporting Canadian families in need through trying times,” says Erin Mackey, manager, community involvement, Walmart Canada. “Our corporate contribution to local food banks is one more way Walmart Canada is helping give back to the communities it serves.”
Putting food in the bank
Food banks clearly need proper resources and adequate funding to be effective within their communities. Thus, it was a natural fit for our ‘bank’, the Walmart Canada Bank to support their cause with the Walmart Rewards food bank campaign – held over seven weeks before the Christmas holidays last year. Our bank donated five dollars to local food banks with the successful completion of every Walmart Rewards MasterCard application received in-store. Associates and customers worked together to raise an astonishing $681,000 and Walmart Canada corporate donated an additional $195,000 for a total contribution of $876,000.
The $681,000 donation was shared out amongst food banks in the same communities where funds were raised. Our $195,000 contribution was divided between food banks across the country including the Moisson Montreal, Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank and Food Banks Canada.
“Food banks are struggling to keep up with the increased demand during the holiday period as individuals and families in need reach out for support,” said Katharine Schmidt, executive director, Food Banks Canada. “We are thrilled Walmart is supporting food banks across the country and helping to make the holidays a little brighter for Canadians in need.”
A practical lesson in sustainable giving
With our grocery business growing each year, Walmart Canada has a very practical way to help food banks, which enables us to be more sustainable in the process.
In early 2012, we signed a key partnership with Food Banks Canada, the national organization linking food banks from coast-to-coast, to pick up food directly from our stores – similar to our arrangement with Salvation Army for surplus clothing and products. For Walmart, it’s a progressive solution that enables us to help fight hunger and practice sustainability at the same time.
Did you know? The issue of hunger, and its demands on Canadian food banks, was recently highlighted by Food Banks Canada in their comprehensive HungerCount 2011 Report. The report indicated more than 850,000 Canadians were assisted by a food bank each month, a 26 per cent increase from 2008. 38 per cent of those assisted were children and 94,000 of those receiving help were visiting food banks for the first time.