People going hungry is as close as your next-door neighbor. That thought is more than a little troubling and humbling.
One in seven people, including one in four children, in the Texas Panhandle struggle with food insecurity at some point during the year, according to the High Plans Food Bank. Nationally, one in eight Americans, including one in six children struggle with hunger at some point during the year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Those numbers are even worse for Latino communities. One in five Latinos struggle with getting enough to eat, compared to one in 10 white, non-Hispanics. For Latino children, nearly 24 percent are food insecure compared to 13 percent for white, non-Hispanic children, according to Feeding America’s Latino Hunger 2017 report.
Those statistics make what Walmart, Feeding America and the High Plains Food Bank are teaming up to do even more important.
On Monday, the three entities kicked off their fifth annual nationwide campaign called “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” online and in stores.
Walmart and Feeding America are trying to double their meal goal to help secure at least 200 million meals.
“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 Zack Wilson, Executive Director of High Plains Food Bank, in a prepared statement. “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 the Texas Panhandle.”
The 14 participating suppliers are 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.
“We hope people in the communities we serve will take action and participate in the campaign,” Wilson said.
Walmart is offering four ways customers can get involved to fight hunger either online, in the store or through social sharing to help secure meals for local food banks, including the High Plains Food Bank. Customers can purchase products in-store or online, donate money to local Feeding America food banks, make an online act of support or use a new Walmart Credit Card.
For every specially marked product purchased at participating Walmart stores or on Walmart.com in the month of April the supplier will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal, which is incredibly 10 cents, on behalf of a Feeding America member food bank, up to applicable limits.
Donations to local food banks can be made at the register to High Plains Food Bank in increments of $1, $2, $5 or any amount chosen by the customer. Donating is also an option at the self-checkout register. When customers click “Finish & Pay” on totals more than $10, it will trigger the prompt with details on donating, according to a news release.
People can also 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 to Feeding America. For every click on the support button on the program website, Walmart will donate $1 to Feeding America, up to $1.5 million.
People can use the Walmart Credit Card. Synchrony Bank will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal, 10 cents, for each Walmart Credit Card transaction made at Walmart stores and on Walmart.com during the campaign, up to $750,000.
Last year, almost $40,000 was raised for the High Plains Food Bank, including $11,250 by social media. Walmart and the product purchases accounted for the rest.