AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- With Texas ranking among the nation's top states for food insecurity, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today proudly partnered with Walmart to announce a Facebook campaign that will award $1 million in grants to the hungriest city in America. In Texas, four communities – Austin/Round Rock, San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth and Greater Houston – are competing for the grant to help feed hungry Texans in their communities.
"Walmart is giving Texans an incredible opportunity to help feed hungry families," Commissioner Staples said. "All it takes is a click of the mouse and you can help bring resources to those in need. Hunger in America is at the highest level we've seen since the federal government began keeping track of such statistics. In Texas, more than 17 percent of our households are estimated to be food-insecure, which is higher than the national average. I applaud Walmart's generosity in addressing this crisis and I encourage all Texans to vote for one of our neighboring Texas cities in need."
Visitors to Walmart's Facebook page will help determine which community in America will receive a $1 million grant to fight hunger. Five runner-up communities with the highest support will receive $100,000 each. Through December 31, Texans can cast their vote at Walmart.com/fightinghunger.
"The unfortunate fact is that many Texas residents lack access to an adequate supply of nutritious food," said Jeff McAllister, Walmart Senior Vice President for Texas. "We can all do something to help. Through the end of December, Texans have the opportunity to join Walmart in our commitment to fight hunger by voting to decide which communities will receive up to $1.5 million in grants. We ask all Texans to help battle hunger this holiday season by voting for their region today."
A recent United States Department of Agriculture report found that 17.4 million U.S. households do not have consistent, dependable access to sufficient food.
"The current economic climate has stressed local food banks like never before," Commissioner Staples said. "We have more hard-working citizens than ever seeking hunger relief for their families, and in Texas that news is even more troubling and unacceptable considering our agriculture industry is a $100 billion powerhouse of productivity. With the help of Walmart and all Texas citizens, we can cast our vote to help feed our hungry neighbors."
As part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation's $2 billion commitment to end hunger, Walmart has made the following contributions in Texas this year:
- Total pounds of food donated to Texas Food Bank Network affiliates this year: more than 16 million;
- The financial contributions, including the $100,000 to the Texas Food Bank Network;
- $600,000 to the Houston Food Bank (over two years);
- $75,000 to the San Antonio Food Bank;
- $75,000 to the Community Food Bank;
- $50,000 to the Tarrant Area Food Bank;
- $25,000 to the North Texas Food Bank;
- $35,000 to Share Center in Terrell;
- $25,000 to Caritas of Waco and
- Six trucks worth approximately $90,000 each to help distribute food in:
- North Texas Food Bank
- Montgomery County Food Bank
- Food Bank of Corpus Christi
- West Texas Food Bank
- Wichita Falls Area Food Bank
- South East Texas Food Bank
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From Feb. 1, 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally, $467 million of which was donated in the U.S. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) provides numerous services to Texans through four key areas: growing the agriculture industry; protecting consumers; enabling healthy lifestyles; and developing our economy. Through domestic and international marketing initiatives and various biosecurity measures, TDA promotes and protects the Lone Star State's $100 billion agriculture industry. The agency also protects Texans through programs to maintain the integrity of the state's natural resources and by ensuring consumers get what they pay for at the fuel pump and the grocery store. Additionally, as the administrator of federal nutrition programs and economic development grants, TDA also advocates healthy lifestyles among all Texans and fosters the advancement of communities across the Lone Star State. Through research, regulation, funding and marketing, TDA is committed to growing Texas' worldwide standing as a powerhouse of productivity. For more information visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov.
SOURCE Walmart; Texas Department of Agriculture