WASHINGTON, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced a $25 million giving campaign aimed at filling the gaps created when schools close for the summer. Funding to more than 350 local nonprofit organizations will help expand nutrition, learning and employment services for elementary, middle and high school students throughout the 2011 summer months.
According to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), the achievement gap between higher- and lower-income youth can largely be attributed to unequal access to summer learning opportunities and critical needs like healthy meals. Walmart's summer giving campaign is addressing these issues with a focus on the three key areas:
- Providing eight million meals to more than 85,000 school-age children in lower-income or inner-city areas;
- Helping 20,000 kids access summer learning programs that will help keep their minds sharp;
- Providing summer jobs to more than 5,000 inner-city youth in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C.
Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs, Leslie Dach stressed the company's commitment to children this summer, saying, "Kids should have every opportunity to grow into successful adults and we're doing our part to make sure that's the case this summer. From helping thousands of kids stay active and learn, to supporting summer job programs and providing nutritious meals, we're committed to making a difference."
"To effectively address the challenges children and families in our community face every day, we must work together as One City," said Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. "That means individuals, organizations, businesses, non-profits, and faith groups must commit to helping our children succeed. I am pleased that Walmart has partnered with us to support our young people in having a healthy and productive summer."
"I am very passionate about supporting our youth. They are the future," said Mrs. Knowles. "It's truly a blessing for me to partner with Walmart on this wonderful project that contributes to nourishing young people's bodies and minds."
Walmart's giving campaign will reach more than 110,000 children—enough children to fill nearly 5,000 classrooms:
Feeding Kids Healthy Meals
$7.8 million in funding from the Walmart Foundation will help the YMCA of the USA, National Recreation and Park Association and community organizations in Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., Portland, Ore., San Jose, Calif. and other urban and rural communities, feed more children this summer. This effort is an extension of Walmart's $2 billion commitment to fight hunger in the U.S.
From June 30 to July 3, local Walmart stores with grocery departments will host food demonstrations that will include information on how to fight hunger and tips for parents on how to have a successful summer with their kids.
Helping Kids Learn
Walmart's $11.5 million grant to NSLA will support programs in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York City, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. With research finding that students participating in structured summer learning programs made significant strides in academic performance and behavior, the initiative aims to increase students' learning, reading and classroom participation when school is in session.
Providing Summer Jobs
The Department of Labor reported that unemployment among youth in 2010 increased by 571,000 between April and July. Walmart's $5 million in grants to municipalities and nonprofits in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. will support youth employment programs. As a result of this support, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Urban Alliance, Latin American Youth Center, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and City Connect Detroit will grant access to job opportunities and skills training to more than 5,000 youth.
To find additional information on the summer programs that Walmart is supporting and learn more about how Walmart is bringing its commitment to hunger relief to life this summer with Tina Knowles' help, visit http://www.walmart.com/fightinghunger.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. To learn more, visit http://www.walmartfoundation.org/.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.