The Food Basket Receives $87,433 Walmart GrantNovember 9, 2017, 11:12 AM HST (Updated November 9, 2017, 11:12 AM)
The Food Basket, Hawaiʻi Island’s Food Bank, has received a $87,433 grant from the Walmart Foundation’s Hawaiʻi State Giving Council to purchase a new refrigerated truck.
A traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremonies for the new truck were held on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, at Nani Mau Gardens in Hilo, with approximately 35 of The Food Basket’s agencies.
“Our immense gratitude goes out to the Walmart Foundation for providing The Food Basket with a new refrigerated truck to help with the reliable and safe distribution of nutritious food to our many island families who are food insecure,” said The Food Basket Interim Director Kristin Frost Albrecht. “We have seen a substantial increase of 13.7% over this past year in the number of residents needing emergency food, particularly at the end of the month when many families need to make the difficult choice whether to pay their rent, utilities, healthcare cost or purchase food.”
“This new truck also will ensure that The Food Basket has the ability to act efficiently and quickly as emergency responders to catastrophic events such as hurricanes and major storms and guarantee that we can distribute a safe and secure food supply island-wide,” Albrecht said.”Mahalo to Walmart for their generous grant and continued partnership in our mission to end hunger in Hawaiʻi County!”
“No individual or family should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from,” said Hawaiʻi Walmart Market Manager Lance McAlister. “We believe in giving back to the communities we serve and, with today’s dedication of the new truck for The Food Basket, we hope our support brings encouragement and comfort to those in need.”
This grant continues the Walmart Foundation’s support of the fight against hunger in the islands, which already has included donations of three additional refrigerated trucks and numerous nutrition-related grants to local organizations across the state.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better, awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S. In 2017, they invested more than $100 million in local communities, including more than $1.74 million in cash and in-kind contributions to nonprofits throughout Hawaiʻi.
As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is uniquely positioned to support organizations that are on the front lines in the fight against hunger. In addition to donating more than 747,000 pounds of food to local Hawaiʻi food banks—equivalent to 623,257 meals—Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated more than $50 million toward hunger relief across the U.S. in 2017.
Walmart also engages customers across the country in making an impact on hunger in their local communities. In the U.S., Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations teamed up with customers and participating suppliers to support Feeding America through the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, raising more than $17 million in funds in 2017, including $77,911 for the Hawaiʻi Foodbank and their Neighbor Island affiliates Hawaiʻi Foodbank – Kaua‘i Chapter, Maui Food Bank and Hawaiʻi Food Basket.
(L–R, back row) Toby Taniguchi, board member of The Food Basket, and president and COO of KTA Super Stores; Rhea Lee-Moku, board chair of The Food Basket and manager of administration at Hawai‘i Electric Light; Jose Padilla, assistant manager of Hilo Walmart; Neil Gyotoku, housing sdministrator for County of Hawai‘i (representing Mayor Harry Kim); Mark Roberts, store manager of Hilo Walmart; Kristin Frost Albrecht, interim executive director of The Food Basket, Hawai‘i Island’s Food Bank; Bernard Torres Jr., warehouse supervisor and lead driver for the The Food Basket; Pastor Mathew Torres Sr.; (front row) Elvie Miguel, sales associate for Hilo Walmart; Susan Brown, sales associate for Hilo Walmart, who also has worked at the store since it opened); and Jessica Panui, assistant manager for Hilo Walmart.