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Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have introduced a $25 million giving campaign designed to help kids in need when their schools close for the summer. Funding to more than 350 local nonprofit organizations will help extend nutrition, learning and employment services for elementary, middle and high school students throughout the summer of 2011.
Walmart’s summer giving campaign concentrates on three key areas: providing 8 million meals to more than 85,000 school-age children in lower-income or inner-city areas, getting 20,000 kids into summer learning programs, and putting more than 5,000 inner-city youth to work for the summer in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City and the District of Columbia.
As part of the initiative, from June 30 to July 3, local Walmart stores with grocery departments will hold food demonstrations that will offer information on how to fight hunger in the community, and tips for parents on how to have a productive summer with their kids.
“Kids should have every opportunity to grow into successful adults, and we’re doing our part to make sure that’s the case this summer,” said Leslie Dach, EVP of corporate affairs at Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. “From helping thousands of kids stay active and learn, to supporting summer job programs and providing nutritious meals, we're committed to making a difference.”
“To effectively address the challenges children and families in our community face every day, we must work together as One City,” Washington Mayor Vincent Gray. “That means individuals, organizations, businesses, nonprofits, and faith groups must commit to helping our children succeed.”
Also working with Walmart this summer to help underprivileged youngsters succeed is fashion designer Tina Knowles, mother of singers Beyonce and Solange Knowles.
Organizations taking part in the endeavor include YMCA of the USA, National Recreation and Park Association and community organizations in Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Portland, Ore.; San Jose, Calif. and other urban and rural communities; the National Summer Learning Association, which will support programs in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington; and municipalities and nonprofits in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington in support of youth employment programs, as a result of which, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Urban Alliance, Latin American Youth Center, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and City Connect Detroit will grant access to job opportunities and skills training to thousands of kids.
The mega-retailer's campaign is poised to reach more than 110, 000 children, enough to fill almost 5,000 classrooms.