Los Angeles, August 3, 2018 – The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank today announced a $75,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to fund the infrastructure that will ultimately help the food bank’s partner agencies secure and distribute more nutritious food to families in need. The grant will allow the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to invest in equipment to preserve food quality, such as; refrigerated vehicles, coolers and freezers, thermometers, temperature calibration devices and other items.
“One in seven people struggle with hunger in Los Angeles County, including one in four children,” said Michael Flood, the Food Bank’s President & CEO. “It is important for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to provide our community with healthy food, and we are thankful to the Walmart Foundation for helping arm us with the equipment we need to ensure that people who struggle with hunger have access to nutrient-rich options.”
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank secures fresh, perishable food from retailers across the greater Los Angeles County area. The Food Bank’s retail store donation program, called Extra Helpings, establishes relationships between our partner agencies and local retailers for direct donation pick-ups. Our partner agencies collect the food and distribute it directly to clients through their regularly scheduled food distribution and/or meal services. There are currently 175 agencies enrolled in the program, picking-up food donations from more than 600 local retail outlets.
The Walmart Foundation grant will help increase the number of pick-ups by current agencies and recruit new agencies to the program. It will also increase pick-up frequency at each donor location by 20% overall. We anticipate that our agencies will pick-up 19.2 million pounds of perishable items in FY18.
The Walmart Foundation has been instrumental in helping food banks rescue and distribute more perishable food from retailers across the United States in a sustainable, cost-effective way. This grant is a part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s ongoing commitment to helping families who struggle with hunger by providing four billion meals to people in need in the U.S. by 2020.
Since 2009, the Walmart Foundation has been a leading supporter of infrastructure grants to Feeding America food banks and their member agencies. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to the Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks.
Locally, they have been committed partners and generous supporters of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank for over a decade. They donate 1.4 million pounds of food annually and are one of our top five food donors. They further support our work by providing generous grants via Feeding America.
With food insecurity remaining high throughout the country, the ability to distribute more food is critical for food banks. According to the USDA, more than 41 million people nationwide are food insecure, which means that they may not know where they will find their next meal. In Los Angeles County, 1 in 7 residents are food insecure.