Office Hours

Walmart hands out more than $5 million for state programs

A client pulls away from the mobile food bank Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 at Millwood Presbyterian Church with their portion of groceries stacked on the trunk lid.  The person only lived a block away.  At mobile food banks, the portions are generous and there is no qualifying for eligibility. The church has committed to holding a food drop every month at the church.  Second Harvest provides the food when a group volunteers to hold one. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
A client pulls away from the mobile food bank Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 at Millwood Presbyterian Church with their portion of groceries stacked on the trunk lid. The person only lived a block away. At mobile food banks, the portions are generous and there is no qualifying for eligibility. The church has committed to holding a food drop every month at the church. Second Harvest provides the food when a group volunteers to hold one. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and its charitable foundation contributed more than $5 million to Washington state programs during the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, 2010.

The Eastern Washington area got some of the love. The Second Harvest Inland Northwest food bank, based in Spokane, received about $60,000 for its mobile food program, according to a company spokesman.

And the Inland Northwest Blood Center received $40,000 for its Growing the Be The Match blood type registry.

Aware of the condition of the economy, the Walmart foundation doubled its donations to U.S. s to food banks at a time when they are being accessed more than ever. Giving more than 127 million pounds of nutritious food—the equivalent of nearly 100 million meals—from Walmart stores, Walmart distribution centers and Sam’s Club locations, Walmart increased food donations by 81 million pounds over the previous year's amount. 

Total U.S. Walmart contributions came to $467 million in cash and in-kind gifts in the fiscal year. The company, based in Bentonville, Ark., said that was an $89 million increase over the previous year’s giving. In international markets, Walmart gave $45 million in cash and in-kind gifts.  I





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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.




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