Walmart recently announced a plan to ramp up their donations over the next five years to food banks across the country, which will total $2 billion dollars. This more than doubles their current donation amount, which comes at a good time when the number of Americans needing assistance is on the rise.
The plan as it has been outlined will consist of splitting up the funds that are utilized to purchase refrigerated trucks used to help keep meat and produce last longer as they are transported from Walmart stores to the various charities.
The majority of the donation will be used towards 1.1 billion pounds of food. This food will be items that have gone unsold or can’t be sold anymore due to an pending expiration date. Estimates have been that half will be produce, dairy and meat products, which are in high demand for food shelters and food banks.
Walmart estimates that the food they are donating will net out to a billion meals, which is great news as many times food assistance through large corporations goes overseas. Keeping those one billion meals in the U.S. will now serve the many families and individuals struggling to get food on the table.
While this donation is certainly generous, to put it in perspective, there are over 39.7 million people on food stamps. With Walmart’s food donation, each of these individuals would receive only five meals for a full year. We certainly can’t expect Walmart to solve the food crisis our country is facing alone, and can only hope this will inspire more companies to get involved as well.
May 17th, 2010