JFS Wins $20,000 Grant As Part of Walmart's Fighting Hunger Together Initiative
One of 100 organizations selected to receive part of $3 million in grants to fight hunger this spring
Jewish Family Service has been selected as one of 60 winning hunger relief agencies to receive a $20,000 grant from Walmart’s Fighting Hunger Together initiative. Throughout April, customers voted for more than 300 Feeding America food banks and their partner agencies by visiting www.walmart.com/hunger. As a result of the votes cast, 100 food banks and partner agencies will receive a total of $3 million in grants — 40 Feeding America member food banks will receive $1.8 million in grants ($45k each) and 60 of their partner agencies will receive $1.2 million in grants ($20k each).
Jewish Family Service is one of 61,000 Feeding America partner agencies located throughout the United States. The Feeding America network of food banks and their partner food assistance agencies, such as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, and after-school programs, feed 37 million people annually, including nearly 14 million children.
“During the spring months we typically experience a drop in our overall donations. Initiatives like Fighting Hunger Together provide an avenue for anyone, regardless of their financial situation, to help make a positive impact in our community,” said Michael Hopkins, CEO. “With this grant, we will be able to feed hundreds of families in San Diego County.”
Jewish Family Service of San Diego’s Hand Up Youth Food Pantry will use grant funds to provide families with groceries that help them make ends meet. Each year, JFS provides the equivalent of 280,000+ meals to help feed more than 9,000 men, women and children. Hand Up will ensure that food distributions continue to serve active-duty military families stationed at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, Murphy Canyon military housing, and the general population throughout San Diego County.
Food insecurity in San Diego County is above the national average; almost 25% of children face hunger, and those that receive assistance don’t always receive the nutrients growing kids need. San Diego also has a high military presence: Hand Up serves over 1,000 active-duty military families a year; families often have 1-8 children and struggle to put food on the table. Military spouses have a difficult time maintaining employment because when the active duty parent is deployed, they suddenly become a single parent. Military spouses face an unemployment rate of 26%, compared to a national average of 7.9%. Hand Up works to not only end hunger, but to provide the healthiest options available. Fast food, processed foods, and items high in sugar often account for most of the food families facing hunger feed their children. By providing fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meat, and healthy non-perishable options, Hand Up helps children have a more balanced diet, which keeps them full longer.
“We want to thank the local organizations, volunteers, and customers who participated in this campaign and work to support their communities year round,” said Julie Gehrki, senior director of the Walmart Foundation. “Through their efforts, we can bring attention to the need local communities experience during the spring months and help fill the gap by providing ways for customers to generate millions of meals and volunteer.”
The Fighting Hunger Together initiative is part of Walmart’s and the Walmart Foundation’s $2 billion commitment through 2015 to fight hunger. Click here to learn more about the program and Walmart’s commitment.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief and Nutrition, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than one billion meals to those in need across the country. Click here to learn more about Walmart’s giving.