Social Governance

Food Donation Initiative of Walmart and Sam's Club Marks a New Milestone

Published on: 20 April 2022
by KnowESG

Walmart and Sam's Club have taken several food donation initiatives since 2006. Recently, they marked a new milestone by hitting 7 billion pounds of food donated. They have achieved this new record with the help of their associates, who initiated the program and followed up every day to work for the betterment of the communities they serve.

The U.S. population is more than 331 million people, and 7 billion pounds of food is equivalent to 5 billion meals, which means the companies donated food for every person in America, three meals per day for five days.

They say food insecurity persists in the country, and Walmart and Sam's Club could help organisations solve it. Besides food donation and charity, the companies provide access to low-cost nutritious food at their stores, online pickup and delivery. They also promote philanthropy and encourage people to eat healthier meals.

Walmart and Sam's Club launched the " Fight Hunger. Spark Change" campaign to ensure the participation of others in their fight against food insecurity. The campaign rolled out eight years ago is not just about offering meals but raising awareness in the communities through simple actions that make significant differences for people.

The companies have secured more than 1.5 billion meals for the needy through the "Fight Hunger. Spark Change" campaign with the help of associates, customers, members and suppliers. These meals served are in addition to Walmart and Sam's Club's food donation program that offers dairy, meat, fresh produce, and other staple food items every week to the Feeding America network of 200 member food banks across the country.

Claire L. Babineaux-Fontenot, the CEO of Feeding America, a national foodbank across the United States, said: "To give you a sense of scale, in one year during the pandemic, about 60 million people turned to the charitable food system for help. And our network provided 6.6 billion meals. With that understood, it gives you context to the extraordinary partnership that we have with Walmart and Sam’s Club – the largest donor of food in our whole network.”

She added, "There is some math that should work in our favor. At least 66 billion pounds of perfectly edible food goes to landfills every year – that is not counting household waste. What if, instead of going to landfills, it went to fill bellies. Our issue in the country – it is not that we do nothave enough food to feed our people – we do. There needs to be some matching, some intentionality around it. I am confident that because people have a much better awareness of this challenge, that we are going to take this challenge on [of ending hunger in America].”

Despite Feeding America's efforts and the kindness of Americans across the country, one out of every eight persons in the United States is still hungry. According to Babineaux-Fontenot, the issue is not about the food availability but rather one of awareness.