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Walmart Volunteers Pack Away Hunger

Employees Volunteered at Regional Food Bank

February 28, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Volunteer Center was buzzing with 80 Walmart Neighborhood Market employees volunteering for the Walmart Day of Service. Employees worked at a blistering pace to pack boxes and sort product for distribution to partner agencies on February 18.

Volunteers packed 18,829 pounds of food, which will provide 15,691 meals for hungry Oklahomans in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties.  The Walmart Day of Service event started in 2007, and in the past year more than 200 volunteers have packed nearly 76,300 pounds of food to help feed their hungry neighbors in need.

“Walmart’s goal is to continue to support the Regional Food Bank and its mission,” said James Pelletier, Walmart store manager. “The need for food is greater and it’s our hope that we can help alleviate the need in our community.”

The Walmart Day of Service is part of the Volunteerism Always Pays program, which encourages associates to volunteer for nonprofit organizations and contribute to the communities where they live and work. Organizations that benefit from the program are issued grants through the Walmart Foundation.

Walmart has increased its efforts to end hunger in America by pledging $2 billion as part of the “Fighting Hunger Together” campaign.  The campaign is a five year initiative that includes grants totaling $250 million to support hunger relief organizations at the national, state and local levels. The Regional Food Bank received a $10,000 grant last year through the Associates Choice Program, which encourages Walmart employees to vote for a nonprofit to receive funding in their home state. 

Because of the work that volunteers do, the Regional Food Bank is able to provide enough food to feed more than 90,000 Oklahomans each week – the majority of whom are families, seniors and children. Last year, volunteers dedicated more than 120,000 hours of volunteer service to the Regional Food Bank, saving the organization $2 million in labor. With the rise of fuel and food prices, the Regional Food Bank is spending more to continue its day to day operations, making the need for volunteers even more important.

The Regional Food Bank’s volunteer center is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is also open on Sunday by appointment.  Evening volunteer opportunities are available on Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Rock ‘N Box.  The Rock ‘N Box night provides open volunteer opportunities to the public and includes a variety of fun activities for volunteers, ranging from live musical entertainment to comedy nights. 

To learn more about volunteering, visit regionalfoodbank.org. To schedule a volunteer opportunity contact Jamie Treadaway, manager of volunteer engagement, at 405.600.3154 or jtreadaway@regionalfoodbank.org.

Click here to download a photo of Walmart associates volunteering at the Regional Food Bank.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that acts as a link through which the food industry and community may donate food and other goods. The products are then distributed to nearly 825 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. In fiscal year 2011, the Food Bank distributed 46.2 million pounds of food and product to help the charitable community effectively feed people in need. Since its inception in 1980, the Food Bank has distributed more than 430 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry.

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