BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 2 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — While the economic crisis continues to impact communities around the globe, Wal-Mart’s long-term commitment to giving back locally has made the company — and its domestic and international Foundations — trusted sources of funding for much-needed community programs, especially those that address hunger, homelessness, education, job training and other basic needs.* The company today announced that it stepped up charitable giving globally from February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009 (FYE 2009) with more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts, an $85.6 million increase over its global giving in the previous year.
“Now more than ever, our customers, our associates and countless charitable organizations in communities around the globe are looking to Wal-Mart to support those hit hardest by the financial crisis. But, we must all work together to make a difference,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “During these tough economic times, we know we have a responsibility to continually look for ways to increase our giving and focus our local contributions towards organizations that can do the most good — and have a lasting, positive impact in communities around the globe.”
Wal-Mart’s FYE 2009 giving breakdown:
— In the U.S., Wal-Mart gave more than $378 million in cash and in-kind gifts, up from $296 million in 2007.
— In international markets, Wal-Mart gave $45.5 million in cash and in-kind gifts, up from $41 million in 2007.
— Globally, Wal-Mart’s customers and associates gave more than $106 million through in-store giving programs that benefit local charities.
— In total, Wal-Mart, its Foundations, its customers and its associates supported communities around the globe with nearly $530 million in charitable contributions during FYE 2009.
In the U.S., Wal-Mart is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those on Main Street who have turned to organizations like Feeding America to make ends meet. For example, Wal-Mart’s food donation program has provided more than 33 million pounds of fresh produce, meat and other nutritious foods to U.S. food banks. These in-kind contributions have an estimated value of more than $85 million. Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations remain on track to donate 90 million pounds of food by November 2009.
In addition, Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in the U.S. donated more than one million volunteer hours last fiscal year, evidence of the company’s on-going efforts to encourage community service. Recently, the company expanded its volunteerism program through mywalmart.com, a new Web site designed to help associates connect with one another, get involved in their communities and find local volunteer opportunities. The Wal-Mart Foundation also continues its Volunteerism Always Pays program, which awards grant dollars to qualifying organizations in recognition of associate volunteer hours. The company anticipates that associates will log 1.5 million volunteer hours this fiscal year.
“More and more nonprofits are struggling to meet their operating expenses and, as a result, are likely to cut staff,” said Professor Andrew Hahn, director of the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University. “Ultimately this translates into very difficult times for the people served by nonprofits. Wal-Mart associates and customers can continue filling gaps by volunteering in their local communities — there are ways to give back, especially with your time and skills, that don’t involve writing a check. Help comes in many forms.”
While Wal-Mart is increasing efforts to help address changing community needs, it continues to support U.S. initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness – all of which have historically been focus areas for the company and its U.S. Foundation. Last year, Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $248 million in those areas to numerous national and local charities including the Institute for Higher Education Policy ($4.1 million), YouthBuild ($5 million), Children’s Miracle Network ($4.7 million), The Salvation Army ($3 million), Special Olympics ($3.6 million), the National Urban League ($1 million) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ($3.4 million). Wal-Mart also continues to support disaster relief efforts and programs for military families.
For a state-by-state breakdown of giving, or more information about the Wal-Mart Foundation, visit http://www.walmartfoundation.org.
About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Wal-Mart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Wal-Mart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Wal-Mart — and its domestic and international Foundations — gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit http://www.walmartfoundation.org.
*Ed. Note: Wal-Mart operates Foundations in the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and the United Kingdom. In addition to its Foundation giving, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. makes charitable contributions locally in every community where it operates.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.