Walmart and Feeding America Launch “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” Campaign

She or he may be a distant relative or your next door neighbor, but chances are you know one of the estimated 1 in 6 people, including 1 in 4 children in the Mahoning Valley who struggle with food insecurity at some point during the year. Now through April 30, Mahoning Valley residents can make a real difference in the lives of local families.

Walmart, Feeding America and the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley kicked off the fifth annual nationwide “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign online and in stores. Walmart and Feeding America are doubling their meal goal to help secure at least 200 million meals, increasing supplier participation to 14, and introducing the Walmart Credit Card as a new way for customers to get involved in the campaign. In another first, Walmart is uniting with social networking site, Nextdoor, to drive conversations in local communities across the nation on ways they can combat hunger.

“By working with Walmart, its 14 supplier partners and Synchrony Bank, we have an amazing opportunity to make progress towards fighting hunger in our community,” said Michael Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank.  “This campaign will help increase awareness about the issue of hunger in America, allowing us to secure more local funds and ultimately provide more food to people in need in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.  We hope people across the Valley will take action and participate in the campaign.”

Walmart is offering four ways that customers can get involved and fight hunger online, in-store and through social sharing to help secure meals for local food banks, including Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley. Visit Walmart.com/fighthunger for further details. Here are the ways customers can participate in the fight against hunger.

Purchase Product: For every participating product purchased at U.S. and Puerto Rico Walmart stores or on Walmart.com from now – April 30, 2018, the supplier will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal ($0.10) on behalf of a Feeding America member food bank, up to applicable limits. Participating suppliers include General Mills, The Coca-Cola Company, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay/Quaker, Bush Brothers, Clorox Sales Company, Conagra, Motts, Unilever, Maruchan, Pinnacle Foods, Post, and JM Smucker.

Donate money to your local Feeding America food bank at participating Walmart stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Donations can be made at the register to Second Harvest Food Bank in increments of $1, $2, $5 or an amount chosen by the customer.  Donating is also an option at the self-checkout (Scan and Go) register.  When customers click “Finish & Pay” on totals over $10, it will trigger the prompt with details on donating.

Make an online act of support: For every traceable post of campaign content with #FightHunger on Instagram and for every traceable share or retweet on Facebook and Twitter of campaign content, Walmart will donate $10.00 to Feeding America and for every click on the support button on the program website, Walmart will donate $1.00 to Feeding America, up to $1.5 million.

Use the Walmart Credit Card: Synchrony Bank will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal ($0.10) for each Walmart Credit Card transaction made at Walmart stores and on Walmart.com during the campaign, up to $750,000. The ‘’Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’’ campaign launches at a critical time. In Mahoning Valley, food insecurity affects 115,110 people, including 27,760 children. Nationally, one in eight Americans (41 million), including one in six children (nearly 13 million) struggle with hunger at some point during the year, according to the USDA.

“In communities big and small across the country, there are families struggling with hunger,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “By working together during this campaign with our suppliers, customers and friends at Feeding America, we can help secure 200 million meals that will help those who need it most.”

Last year, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley benefited from $50,830 from Walmart’s campaign to fight hunger. To learn more about the campaign, visit www.walmart.com/fighthunger.

Who We Are

Second Harvest Food Bank is a member food bank of Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity.

The Food Bank solicits, stores, and distributes food to hunger-relief organizations in Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties; and provides education and advocacy. We believe that no one should go hungry, and we are dedicated to building a community that makes food accessible to all people.

The Food Bank is a storehouse for large quantities of donated food and USDA commodities that are distributed to 148 hunger-relief organizations and programs located throughout our tri-county service area. These member agencies include church pantries, homeless shelters and soup kitchens, shelters for battered women and after-school programs.

The Work of the Food Bank

The Food Bank solicits, stores, and distributes food to hunger-relief organizations in Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties; and provides education and advocacy. We believe that no one should go hungry, and we are dedicated to building a community that makes food accessible to all people.

The Food Bank is a storehouse for large quantities of donated food and USDA commodities that are distributed to hunger-relief organizations located throughout our tri-county service area. These member agencies include church pantries, homeless shelters and soup kitchens, shelters for battered women and after-school programs.

In 2013, the Food Bank was awarded the AIB Food Safety Certification for the handling, storage and distribution of dry goods, canned goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and frozen meats. AIB accreditations and audits are nationally and internationally recognized as the most stringent in the industry.

Currently, the programs through our member agencies fulfill approximately 15,000 requests for food assistance in the tri-county area per week. To meet this need for food assistance, the Food Bank has the support of hundreds of volunteers who help us work to ensure that hungry seniors, families and children in our Valley have the food they need to live healthy and productive lives.

The Food Bank also educates the community about hunger in our tri-county service area and serves as advocates for those who are in need. Through our own efforts and stories picked up by the local media, we ensure that people living in the Valley are aware of the problem of hunger in our community. Our advocacy includes efforts at the state and federal levels to increase access to SNAP (food stamps).

History of the Food Bank

Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley began in the early 1980s when a group of lay and religious community leaders realized that while people were going hungry, companies were throwing away unused but still nutritious edible food. An effort was started to get these companies to donate food to one central location in order to ease distribution to the many local charities already engaged in the fight against hunger. The Food Assistance Warehouse was incorporated as a 501(c)3 charitable organization in December of 1982 and began operating as a clearinghouse for large quantities of food.

In 1994, the Food Bank became a certified member of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

As a member of Feeding America, we are the designated recipient of national food donors and retailers, including Target, Aldi, and Walmart. Additionally, the Food Bank works to procure food donations from local companies like Giant Eagle and Sparkle Markets, as well as through food drives and campaigns like Harvest for Hunger.

In 2017, the Food Bank distributed a record 10.6 million pounds of food, including over 3 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Currently, member agencies handle nearly 15,000 requests for food assistance per week.

Hunger in the Mahoning Valley

1 in 6 people in the Mahoning Valley faces hunger.

Right here in the Mahoning Valley, too many seniors, families and children continue to struggle with hunger every day. Unemployment, underemployment, low wages, and rising utilities, medicine, gas and food costs often make it difficult for many families to make ends meet. Although the economy is slowly recovering in our area, our pantries are still seeing more individuals and families who were once stable and are now asking for help to put food on their tables.

To help those who struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table in our community, the Food Bank distributed a record 10.6 million pounds of food to hunger-relief agencies in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties in 2017. These pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and after-school programs currently fulfill nearly 15,000 requests for food assistance each week.

Feeding America’s national study, Hunger in America 2014, highlighted some of the struggles the families visiting our pantries face:

  • 78% had to choose between food and utilities;

  • 74% had to choose between food and medical care;

  • 71% had to choose between food and transportation;

  • 57% had to choose between food and housing;

  • 92% live in food insecure households.

Of those provided food by one of the Food Bank’s member agencies, 31% were children and 21% were seniors. In fact, almost 30,000 children in the tri-county area are at risk for hunger--that's 1 in 4 children in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties who may not know where their next meal is coming from (Map the Meal Gap 2017).

IF YOU are in need of food dial 211 or call in
Columbiana & Mahoning Counties: (330) 747-2696; Trumbull County: (330) 393-1565

The Food Bank's mission is to solicit, store, and distribute food to hunger-relief organizations in Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties; and to provide education and advocacy. We believe that no one should go hungry, and we are dedicated to building a community that makes food accessible to all people.

So no one goes hungry.

Feeding America logo link Ohio Associations of Foodbanks logo link United Way logo link Better Business Bureau logo link

 

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