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Walmart Commits $300,000 to Help Support Shutdown Response

January 25, 2019, 12:52 PM HST (Updated January 25, 2019, 12:52 PM)
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Walmart committed $300,000 on Jan. 25, 2019, to support Feeding America’s Shutdown Response Fund, the United Way’s United for U.S. Fund and the Coast Guard Foundation, providing much-needed assistance to each of these organizations that have experienced an increase in demand for their services, particularly in areas hardest hit by the government shutdown.

In Hawai‘i, the federal shutdown has affected an estimated 2,741 federal employees.

The islands are home to 33 national historic landmarks and seven major airports. Additionally, the United States Coast Guard’s 14th District is based in Honolulu, overseeing the Coast Guard’s largest area of responsibility and covering more than 14 million square miles of land and sea from the Hawaiian Islands and across most of the Central and Western Pacific.

“… Many impacted workers have turned to support organizations to help put meals on tables, pay utility bills and even cover healthcare costs,” said Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs for Walmart. “While our support to food banks happens year-round with in-kind food donations from our stores, we felt it important to not only build on that commitment, but also offer extra support to our Coast Guard families and to the United Way, who just yesterday launched the United for U.S. Fund to provide financial relief to those in affected communities.”

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Each organization will receive $100,000 from Walmart to support programs that provide relief to the more than 800,000 federal employees and others who have worked without pay or had been furloughed.

“Hawaii Foodbank is extremely grateful to the Walmart Foundation for its many years of support in our fight against hunger in Hawai‘i,” Ron Mizutani, president and CEO of Hawaii Foodbank. “They never hesitate to be on the frontline with us and working side-by-side. They provided more than 1,000 volunteer hours last year and donated an incredible 1,428,886 pounds of food during Fiscal Year 2018. That’s enough food for over 1,190,000 meals! That’s commitment and understanding of what makes our Hawai‘i so special, especially during unplanned events like a partial government shutdown. There is much comfort knowing partners like Walmart are a phone call away.”

“Feeding America is thankful to the Walmart Foundation for their long-standing commitment and partnership in the fight to end hunger,” Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “We are truly grateful to them for stepping up to help furloughed government workers and contractors directly affected by the shutdown. Hardworking men and women are turning to their local food banks for support. This gift will help ensure that there is food on the table as families work to recover from the impact of the shutdown.”

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“Thank you, Walmart, for supporting our efforts to aid Coast Guard members during this challenging time,” Susan Ludwig, president at Coast Guard Foundation. “We are inspired by the outpouring of support from you and communities all across the country who are standing shoulder to shoulder with us to show our Coast Guard service members and their families that we are here for them.”

“We have been encouraged by the tremendous response from the corporate community and others who have supported those impacted by the ongoing government shutdown,” Mary B. Sellers, president, U.S. Network, United Way Worldwide. “Walmart’s generous contribution to the United for U.S. Fund will enable local United Ways in communities around the country ease the burden of those who are struggling in these uncertain times.”

Walmart has a long history of strengthening the charitable meal system in the U.S., supporting
veterans and military families and stepping up to support communities during times of crisis.

For more information on the organizations receiving funding, visit feedingamerica.org,
coastguardfoundation.org and unitedway.org.

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