Texarkana, August 13, 2015 – Harvest Regional Food Bank announced a $55,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to fund a new position, retail store donation coordinator, for the specific purpose of working with local and national retailers to secure more donated food.
The need for this position stems from the understanding that retail store donations are a critical component in being able to serve more people struggling with hunger. A staff person dedicated to working with retailers, both small and large, to rescue and distribute food that might otherwise go to waste will not only help build the capacity of Harvest Regional Food Bank but, ultimately, help better meet the ongoing local need.
“We are thrilled that the Walmart Foundation has funded this new staff position and understands the value of food banks working hand in hand with local retailers to fight hunger,” said Camille Wrinkle, Executive Director. “As a member of the Feeding America network, we have seen how securing retail store donations is a key driver to increasing our ability to secure more food for more people. With this grant, we’ll be able to develop stronger relationships with our local retailers and do more for the people struggling with hunger in Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas.”
Harvest Regional Food Bank is one of 15 Feeding America member food banks across the country this year to be awarded a grant for a retail store donation coordinator. The grant is designed to support the first year salary and benefits costs for the staff position.
While the position is funded through a Walmart Foundation grant, the new retail store coordinator will work with all retailers in the area in an effort to secure more food for Harvest Food Bank. The coordinator also will help educate store personnel on the appropriate guidelines for donations through the food bank’s retail donation program.
The funding for the position comes at a time of particular need, as food insecurity remains high throughout the country. According to the USDA, approximately 49 million people – including 16 million children – in the United States struggle with hunger. Here in Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas, approximately 60,000 local residents are food insecure.
Through their longstanding commitment to fighting hunger, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both funds and food to Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation has set goals to provide four billion meals to those in need in the U.S. through 2020. Harvest Regional Food Bank is one of Feeding America’s 200 member food banks across the country and currently receives product donations from local Walmart stores. To learn more about the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to fight hunger visit foundation.walmart.com.