Marquette, MI – Walmart and Sam’s Club have partnered with Feeding America once again to fill the plates of neighbors facing hunger in the Upper Peninsula through their Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign. From April 22 to May 20, proceeds from the purchase of select items at all Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in the food bank’s 40-county service area will provide one meal to those in need, while each dollar donated at the register will provide four meals.
All meals will be distributed through Feeding America West Michigan’s network of partner agencies – including nonprofit organizations like churches and social service providers – 130 of which are in the U.P.
Since the campaign’s start five years ago, Fight Hunger. Spark Change. has raised $75 million to fight hunger nationally. Supporters in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula alone raised enough funds to distribute the equivalent of 114,000 meals through the campaign in 2018, a number the food bank hopes to top by 10,000 or more this year. These meals stretch far in the Upper Peninsula, where 14 percent of residents and 19.2 percent of children face hunger and the health issues it brings. Fewer jobs and greater distance from grocery stores amplifies rural communities’ risk.
Kristen Corbiere, who coordinates Mobile Food Pantries at a school in Sault Ste. Marie, has seen first-hand how rural hunger affects her neighbors: One mother drove an hour north just to attend the Mobile Pantry to feed her family with the produce, protein and shelf-stable foods distributed.
Feeding America West Michigan’s partnership with Walmart is more than monetary; last year, the company donated nearly 2 million pounds of food as well. Corporate donors like Walmart enabled the food bank’s partner agencies to distribute more than 21 million meals throughout its service area in 2018, but there’s still more work to do. It would take 48.6 million more meals to fill the plates of all those in need in the food bank’s service area. Campaigns like Fight Hunger. Spark Change. – and the generosity of those who take action – are essential to helping Feeding America West Michigan fill this meal gap and end hunger in all corners of West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Those who wish to support the food bank’s efforts are encouraged to visit their local Walmart or Sam’s Club store between April 22nd and May 20th to take part in the campaign, or visit feedwm.org/donate to give directly.
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