DANVILLE — Walmart has identified Danville as one of 200 communities nationwide hit hardest by unemployment and struggling with hunger.
Between now and April 30, Walmart is giving away $2 million to fight hunger by asking consumers to visit its Facebook page to vote for one of the 200 communities.
The community with the most votes will receive $1 million to help fight hunger, and the next 20 communities will each receive $50,000 for hunger relief.
The winning communities will be announced on May 1. Thus far, more than 48,000 votes have been cast in the campaign and users can vote once a day until April 30.
Walmart’s Facebook campaign comes at a time when there has been a decrease in donations to food banks, leaving them unable to meet the needs of nearly 49 million Americans who at some point this year will be uncertain where their next meal will come from. Many of the communities suffering from food shortages are those communities with high levels of unemployment.
“Hunger is a defining issue for America as millions struggle to put food on the table every day. Helping fight hunger is something our associates, customers and supplier partners believe in and together we can help make a positive impact on this issue,” Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of Walmart’s U.S. grocery business, said in a press release. “Simply by going into a Walmart store or going online, every consumer in America has the opportunity to join this effort.”
Walmart’s Facebook campaign is intended to drive funds into those cities where the need is greatest.
In addition to the Facebook campaign, Walmart is inviting customers to visit one of its 3,854 Walmart stores and Neighborhood Markets nationwide and purchase products from participating suppliers — General Mills, ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods and Kellogg Company — who are helping to provide more than 42 million meals to families struggling with hunger.
As the nation’s largest grocer and largest retailer, Walmart is uniquely positioned to help end hunger in America. In 2010, the company committed $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger. As a part of this commitment, Walmart pledged to donate more than 1.1 billion pounds of food from Walmart stores, distribution centers and Sam’s Club locations, valued at $1.75 billion, as well as $250 million in grants to support hunger relief organizations.
The company also is lending its expertise to help food banks operate more efficiently. Thus far, Walmart has contributed more than 594 million pounds of food and $122 million in grants to hunger relief programs.
To vote for Danville in Walmart’s Facebook campaign, visit http://apps.facebook.com/walmartfighthunger. Click on “Go to App” button and download it. Then select state and community and click “Vote and Share” button. Votes can be cast every 24 hours.