Walmart awards $840K to fight hunger in Ohio

Walmart and its foundation has invested $840,000 in grants to fight hunger in Ohio, and two Dayton organizations received thousands of dollars.

In Dayton, two organizations were honored for their dedication to serving the Miami Valley, and were presented grants to support their efforts to fight food insecurity.

“Helping organizations in our communities that help others to live better is something that is very important to Walmart and the Walmart Foundation,” said Ashley Phillips, manager of the South Dayton Walmart Supercenter. “We are very pleased to be able to support those organizations that fight hunger in our communities, especially among our children and our senior population.”

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The Foodbank of Dayton was awarded a $45,000 grant to build a produce drive-thru and walk-up market in a food desert within West Dayton. Daybreak of Dayton received a $35,000 grant to help homeless youth in the area to learn job skills in order to become self-sufficient citizens.

Dayton ranked as one of the worst metropolitan areas in the U.S. for food hardship in 2015, according to the Food Research & Action Center. The city ranked 11th out of the 109 metropolitan statistical areas represented in Gallup data for “households who indicated they experienced food hardship.”

Nationally, the rate of food hardship has fallen from nearly 19 percent in 2013 to 16 percent in 2015, according to the FRAC. The group asked citizens: “Have there been times in the past 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” One in six households answered the question with “yes,” according to FRAC.

RELATED: County program brings healthy options to food deserts

“We are so thrilled that the Walmart State Giving Council has chosen to partner with us in helping homeless youth learn job skills so that they can mature into self-sufficient young adults in our community and break the cycles of poverty and homelessness,” said Linda Kramer, CEO of Daybreak. “These kids deserve a chance at a better life and we’re thankful that Walmart realizes this and is willing to provide them that chance.”

In 2015, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation awarded more than $49 million in cash and in-kind contributions to Ohio community groups.

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