Do you know what it’s like to be hungry? Really hungry? To live with the constant stress over how to pay for food? To not know where your family’s next meal is coming from? To have to tell your children there is no dinner tonight?
That kind of hunger is closer than you think.
It’s a very serious problem in our state, where more than four million Texans struggle with hunger — almost half of them children. These are our neighbors, our friends, maybe our families. What’s worse is that too often, the food families eat is not healthy. Only one in ten Texans eat enough vegetables a day. One in ten.
There’s no easy solution to this crisis. But Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are passionate about making healthier food accessible and affordable. As the nation’s largest grocer, we are in a unique position to help combat food insecurity in the communities we serve.
Every week, our 600 Texas stores donate food to stock food pantries around the state. And that adds up. During our last fiscal year, our Texas stores donated more than 68 million pounds of food throughout the state. That is the equivalent of 57 million meals for Texas families.
But we can do more. And we will.
We’re leveraging the strengths of our business and engaging with the right partners in Texas to make change. We aim to address the immediate need of finding that next meal for families and to help develop innovative programs and long-term solutions that strengthen the broader meal system.
That’s why today, Walmart is proud to announce nearly $4 million in grants to two Texas-based organizations leading the fight to end hunger in Texas.
Both organizations align with our philanthropic priorities of finding solutions to connect people with healthier food options and provide a way for them to learn about better nutrition.
A grant of nearly $1.3 million will support the Houston-based nonprofit Brighter Bites, which is focused on increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Brighter Bites takes a creative approach, in that they go to where families are almost every day — our schools. Brighter Bites sets up farmers markets at partner schools, where families can select fresh produce at no cost and learn about the foods and how to prepare them. This grant will help expand Brighter Bites in Dallas, Houston, Austin and other select markets. Learn more about their impact with this video.
A second grant of nearly $2.6 million will support Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative (THI), which runs programs in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, San Angelo and Waco to break down the barriers to access to healthier, nutritious food. The grant will also help THI conduct university research that looks for solutions that can be scaled and replicated to combat hunger in Texas and beyond.
Brighter Bites and THI are making an impact, and we are excited to help them help Texans.