BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Through Walmart's Fighting Hunger Together fall initiative, three Manchester, Ky. residents were each randomly selected to win " Golden Sparks" that resulted in a $50,000 grant from Walmart to help expand a backpack program in their community. In addition, Walmart store #545 in Manchester also won a $50,000 grant for the community through the Golden Spark Associate Volunteer Challenge by logging volunteer hours during the campaign. Today, Walmart awards a total of $250,000 in grants to God's Pantry Food Bank which serves 50 counties in Kentucky, including Clay County where Manchester is located.
"We are proud of Clay County for participating in Walmart's Golden Spark promotion. Their thoughtfulness has allowed us the opportunity to receive this grant today," said Marian F. Guinn, CEO at God's Pantry Food Bank. "Through this funding, we will be able to provide backpacks filled with food to children in our community when school meals are not available."
The God's Pantry Food Bank BackPack program is designed to meet the needs of Manchester children by providing them with easy to prepare foods to take home during the weekends or holiday vacation when other resources they rely on, such as free or reduced-price school meals, are not available. According to Feeding America, the current child food insecurity rate in Manchester, Ky., is 30.4 percent—that's 1,550 children. With the $250,000 in grants from Walmart, God's Pantry Food Bank will be able to provide 400 children in Clay County with over 115,000 vital meals for the next four years. The backpack program will be implemented in collaboration with Manchester Schools and Manchester Family Resource Center.
In all, residents including Walmart store associates across Kentucky secured six Golden Sparks, totaling $350,000 in grants to help start or sustain backpack programs that feed children throughout the state: $250,000 to Manchester, $50,000 to Leitchfield, $50,000 to Martin County."We are excited by the energy and engagement of our associates and customers in fighting hunger together. The backpack programs started or expanded across the U.S. as a result of this initiative will help to provide an estimated two million weekend meals to children nationwide," said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Walmart Foundation. "During the past several weeks, we saw an exceptional level of engagement, especially in rural communities where the population may be small, but community spirit is certainly high. By providing unique and creative opportunities for our customers and associates to join the fight against hunger, we hope to make a lasting impact in the local communities that need it most." The Fighting Hunger Together Golden Spark promotion is part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation's $2 billion commitment through 2015 to fight hunger. As a part of this commitment, Walmart and its Foundation pledged to donate more than 1.1 billion pounds of food from Walmart 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. To learn more about our commitment, visit www.walmartfoundation.org. About Philanthropy at Walmart Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org. About God's Pantry Food Bank The mission of God's Pantry Food Bank is to reduce hunger in Kentucky through community cooperation making the best possible use of all available resources. The Food Bank serves 50 counties of Central and Eastern Kentucky and can distribute $100 worth of food for every $10 donated. Last year, God's Pantry Food Bank and its member agencies distributed more than 22.8 million pounds of groceries to more than 211,000 individuals. God's Pantry Food Bank is a member of Feeding America. Through community partnerships and distribution of food to 50,000 agencies, Feeding America collectively works to assure that people in need have access to a balanced diet. For more information visit www.godspantry.org or www.feedingamerica.org. Contact: Tara Raddohl, Walmart Phone: 1-800-331-0085 news.walmart.com/reporter/ SOURCE Walmart