Today, Walmart launches the spring Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign, a nationwide initiative inviting the public to take action in the fight against hunger. Working with some of the nation’s leading food companies – Campbell’s, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Kraft, and Unilever – Walmart is offering the 140 million customers that shop at its stores each week three easy ways to help families in need in their local communities. Through the campaign, Walmart aims to donate up to $3 million to Feeding America based on customer participation in the #WeSparkChange social media challenge and Walmart’s suppliers aim to donate enough to help Feeding America secure 75 million meals for affiliate food banks across the country.
The Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign comes at a critical time when one in six people in America struggle with hunger at some point during the year, according to the USDA. In addition, food banks are facing the time of year known as the “spring hunger gap” when food supply is often at its lowest level. To raise awareness and help provide meals to those in need, Walmart and its suppliers are inviting customers to take action in store and online to generate support for Feeding America and its nationwide network of 200 food banks.
“At Walmart, we believe every family should have access to affordable, nutritious and sustainably grown food, but this is not the reality for millions of Americans. An extraordinary 49 million Americans struggle with hunger and don’t know where their next meal will come from at some point during the year,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of Walmart sustainability. “This spring, we’re making it easy for our customers to give back to those in need in their local community by taking simple actions in store or sharing photos online. With the support of our customers and partnerships with our suppliers and Feeding America, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through a network of member food banks, we can make a real difference for families facing hunger across the U.S.”
From April 6 through May 3, customers can fight hunger and spark change in three easy ways:
Take the #WeSparkChange Challenge: Customers can take a picture of six friends who share their commitment to fight hunger, representing the one in six people who may struggle with hunger in the U.S. Then, post the picture on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter as a public post with the hashtag #WeSparkChange. For each public post connected to the hashtag #WeSparkChange, Walmart will donate $10, up to a maximum donation of $1.5 million, to Feeding America on behalf of its affiliate food banks. To help generate more donations, customers can post multiple pictures, tagging friends and challenging them to take their own photo within 48 hours. To kick-off the challenge, Walmart will make an initial donation of $1.5 million to Feeding America, with the goal of reaching a total donation of $3 million based on the public’s participation, enough to help secure 30 million meals.
Buy Participating Products: Purchase one of 240 participating products in Walmart stores nationwide and the supplier will make a donation to help Feeding America secure a meal on behalf of a local food bank. For every item purchased, a meal will be secured for the local Feeding America food bank in that area.
Donate at the Register: For the first time, customers can make a donation on behalf of their local Feeding America food bank at the register during checkout.
“At Feeding America, our mission is to engage the country in the fight to end hunger, and this spring we’re proud to build upon our strong partnership with Walmart to encourage their millions of customers to get involved,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “The campaign is the latest example of Walmart engaging its suppliers, customers and associates with new and creative ways to help families struggling with hunger have access to the food they need.”
The Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign is just one step toward Walmart’s larger commitment to provide meals to those in need, helping ensure every family has access to affordable, nutritious and sustainably grown food. As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is in a unique leadership position to help impact the issue of hunger in the United States. Last year, Walmart announced a commitment to create a more sustainable food system, with a focus on improving the affordability of food by lowering the “true cost” of food for both customers and the environment, increasing access to food, making healthier eating easier, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain. This commitment includes a goal of providing four billion meals to those in need in the U.S. over the next five years.