FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 13, 2012) — A recent grant from the Walmart Foundation allowed the Kentucky Association of Food Banks to purchase and distribute 370,000 pounds of Kentucky-grown produce this summer through its Farms to Food Banks program. This is the equivalent of half a plate full of fruits and vegetables for 569,000 meals.
Farms to Food Banks provides fresh, healthy produce to Kentuckians in need while reducing the amount of wasted food and providing additional markets for farmers. The association purchases at cost Kentucky-grown surplus and No. 2 produce that is edible but not sellable on the retail market. The produce is distributed free of charge to low-income Kentuckians through the food bank network.
Jason Wetzel, director of public affairs and government relations at Walmart, presented a check for $100,000 from the Walmart Foundation at an event hosted this month by the association at the State Capitol in Frankfort. Wetzel said the grant is part of the company’s overall commitment to the ending hunger.
“Walmart is proud to partner with the Kentucky Association of Food Banks to provide healthy, nutritious food to Kentuckians,” he said. “At Walmart, we strive to provide people with access to a better life. Our giving philosophy is based on the idea that we can do the most good by supporting issues and causes that are important to our customers and associates.”
In addition to the Walmart Foundation grant, the Kentucky Association of Food Banks also received a $20,000 donation from the Walmart Associates Choice Program.
“These awards come at a time when food banks are facing unprecedented demand for emergency food assistance and when Kentucky farmers are struggling through a tough summer,” said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of the association. “We are grateful to the Walmart Foundation and associates for their support of our efforts to increase access to fresh, healthy produce among our struggling neighbors while helping Kentucky farmers recoup losses.”
Last year, Walmart stores, Sam’s Club locations and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $13.6 million in cash and in-kind donations to local organizations in the communities they serve in the state of Kentucky. Through additional funds donated by customers, and Walmart and Sam’s Club associates throughout the state, the retailer’s contributions in Kentucky totaled more than $14.7 million.