Walmart is donating $1.5 million dollars to food banks in cities across the United States. Fans had a chance to vote for the city they felt most deserving of a $1 million dollar donation by the retail giant by visiting Walmart’s Facebook page “Fighting Hunger Together” and clicking the ‘like’ button. 100 cities which were considered to be the most in need of food support and found to be food insecure were placed on the list. Fans then voted until December 31st for their chosen city to receive the massive grant donation for food laid out by Walmart.
In addition to giving away $1 million dollars to the number one city ‘liked’ by fans, Walmart stated that they would be giving the five runner-up cities $100,000 donations for local food banks. During the last week of December the voting was frantic and the lead was held by Fresno, California with Salt Lake City, Utah just behind in ‘likes’ but then Salt Lake City pulled into the lead when the voting ended. Salt Lake City, Utah gained 5,320,392 supporters during the “Fighting Hunger Together” campaign putting them in the number one spot to receive Wal-mart’s generous $1 million dollar donation.
Spokeswoman for the Utah Food Bank, Jessica Pugh said of the results, “To say we’re over the moon would be an understatement.” She also spoke of the communities needs growing and the responses of the community to those needs, “Our goal is to continually communicate the current need in the community. Unfortunately, for the last couple of years, the need has been pretty staggering. Fortunately, the community has been really good about responding to that need.”
Walmart has pledged to donate $1 billion dollars in the fight against hunger by 2015. President of the Walmart Foundation, Margaret McKenna, said in a statement about the campaign, “We launched this Facebook campaign with the goal of raising awareness of the serious issue of hunger in the U.S. The overwhelming enthusiasm from the people who rallied for their community shows the campaign’s success. We’ve gained valuable feedback from the conversations on Facebook that we’ll use to help inform our hunger relief giving in 2011 and beyond.”
Salt Lake City, Utah may have won the first big donation of 2011 but many other cities food banks will be better able to feed those in need too. The runners up who will be gaining a $100,000 grant donation from Walmart include Fresno, Ca., Columbia, SC, Ogden, UT, Charleston, SC, and Bakersfield, Ca.
Walmart’s support of charities and charitable work has not gone unnoticed. The retail giant supports Feeding America, Share Our Strength, Meals on Wheels and The Salvation Army.