While food insecurity is more prevalent in some parts of the country, the reality is that it exists in all communities.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, nearly 40 million people face hunger in the U.S., including an estimated 1.3 million individuals in Illinois.
Walmart fights hunger by collaborating year-round with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, to support their network of 200 member food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs nationwide.
This year, through the retailer’s spring “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” campaign, Walmart and Sam’s Club customers and associates raised more than $735,000 for food banks throughout Illinois, helping them provide healthy, nutritious meals to individuals and families struggling to get enough to eat.
Since 2014, the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign has helped raise more than $2.8 million for Illinois food banks, helping secure more than 1 billion meals for food banks nationwide.
In addition to monetary contributions, retail food donations are an important part of Feeding America’s strategy for fighting hunger, accounting for the largest single source of meals the organization provided to people facing hunger last year.
In 2018, 1.4 billion meals – 32.5% of total meals provided by Feeding America partners—resulted from retail food donations.
In Illinois last year, Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers donated more than 18 million pounds of food to Illinois food banks and affiliated pantries, resulting in thousands of meals for Illinois families and individuals.
In Illinois, children are one of the most vulnerable groups to food insecurity.
According to Feeding America, hungry children are more likely to be hospitalized and face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. As they grow up, kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations.