MILWAUKEE [Sept. 9 2011] – At a time when increasingly more families in urban communities face the threat of going hungry, Growing Power announced today that the Walmart Foundation has donated $1million to the organization. The money will be used to support Growing Power’s nationwide Regional Outreach Training Centers program, which provides effective training and skills development in community-based, sustainable agriculture to impact local food security.
Specifically, Growing Power will use the grant to increase the capacity of non-profit, community-focused organizations committed to developing Community Food Centers- places where people can learn how to grow food in urban neighborhoods. The centers will improve local food security, provide quality training in sustainable agriculture to community members, advocate for a locally based food system and engage in the production and distribution of naturally grown food for everyone – especially low-income families.
Growing Power’s CEO Will Allen confirmed, “Walmart has made a commitment to help Growing Power further its training so we can produce more locally grown food throughout the country,” he continues, “what better way for us to get healthy food to all people then by Walmart, who is the largest retail grocery outlet in the world.” Will Allen believes, “This partnership is just the first step in bringing corporate companies like Walmart to the Good Food Revolution table.”
“In Milwaukee, we have seen the positive impact Growing Power can make in a community,” said Mitch Cox, the Walmart Regional General Manager. “We are encouraged that our donation is helping Growing Power expand its local food initiatives program to support 20 communities in 15 states.” A record one in six Americans do not know where their next meal is coming from and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Milwaukee area ranks fourth in the nation for childhood poverty, with 65 percent of Milwaukee children considered poor or near poor. Many of these communities face challenges similar to Milwaukee and will learn from the Growing Power Community Food Center’s ability to create opportunities for local food initiatives.
Walmart recently announced a $2 billion commitment through 2015 to hunger relief efforts in the U.S. in order to help end hunger in America. Through the “Fighting Hunger Together” initiative, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will give $250 million in grants to hunger relief organizations and donate more than1.1 billion pounds of food from Walmart stores, distribution centers and Sam’s Club locations, valued at $1.75 billion.
The Walmart-Growing Power partnership commenced in 2010 when Walmart began donating old produce to Growing Power for use in its composting operation. Right around the same time, Walmart associates started group volunteering at Growing Power and implemented the “Volunteerism Always Pays” program. Today, hundreds of Walmart associates have volunteered at Growing Power and tons of food waste has been collected. Now, Growing Power is preparing to sell locally grown produce to Walmart in the region. Walmart has previously donated large items to Growing Power such as full-size greenhouses, cinderblocks, and dimensional lumber; however, this is the first major financial donation Walmart has made to the organization.
Note to Editors: A press conference will be held at the Growing Power Community Food Center in Milwaukee, WI. Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power; Mitch Cox, Regional General Manager for Walmart; Lisa Nelson, Public Affairs for Walmart; Dorothy Grady of the Mississippians Engaged in Greener Agriculture in MS; and, Rid-All Representatives from Ohio will participate in this event.
DATE: Friday, September 9, 2011
TIME: 10:00 AM CST
LOCATION: 5500 W. Silver Spring Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53218
About Growing Power
Growing Power was started in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1993 by Will Allen, a 2008 winner of a MacArthur “Genius Award” who has long worked to produce and deliver healthy food to low-income communities. It is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. Growing Power implements this mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach and technical assistance through the development of Community Food Systems that help people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner. Their vision is to inspire communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound, creating a just world, one food-secure community at a time
About Walmart Foundation
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 $467 million in cash and in-kind gifts, including donating 127million pounds of nutritious food to U.S. food banks. Internationally, Walmart gave $45 million in cash and in-kind gifts to charitable organizations. To learn more, visit http://www.walmartfoundation.org.
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Growing Power: Susie Falk; 414.232.2562
Walmart: Brooke Buchanan; 800.331.0085