Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA’s BackPack Program
Receives $100,000 Grant from Walmart Foundation
Funding over three years totals $300,000, helps students in Erie-area schools
ERIE, Pa., Feb. 2, 2015 --- For the third consecutive year, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania has received a grant through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to support the charitable organization’s BackPack Program, which provides healthy, nutritious meals to children in need at local elementary schools.
The latest $100,000 grant brings total giving by Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to $300,000 over the last three years. “We have seen the tremendous benefit this program brings to children in the region,” said Jason Klipa, Walmart’s Director Public Affairs and Government Relations in Pennsylvania. “Programs like this help to fight hunger and raise awareness about the needs so many families face. We’re honored to continue our support of the Second Harvest Food Bank and help them with the work they’re doing to make a real difference in the communities we all call home.”
“Second Harvest is so grateful to the Walmart Foundation for its commitment to help alleviate childhood hunger within the Erie region,” said Karen S. Seggi, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA. “Because of its generosity, children in need will have something to eat during a time they would otherwise go without.”
The BackPack Program provides needy children with nutritious, child-friendly food when other resources, such as school lunches and after-school meals or snacks, are not available. Backpacks are discreetly distributed to participating children at community centers or schools on Fridays and before holidays. Some sites operate during the school year; others operate year-round. Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA operates 27 of the more than 2,200 backpack sites throughout the nation.
Second Harvest’s BackPack Program provides to children the proper nutrition necessary for overall growth, physical and cognitive development and satisfactory performance in school. The food is nonperishable, vitamin fortified and easy to prepare and consume. Items might include juice, soup, nutritious snack bars and crackers with peanut butter. Children might also share the food with younger siblings at home.
The Walmart Foundation awarded the food bank $75,000 in March 2013 and $125,000 in February 2014 to alleviate child hunger in northwest Pennsylvania through its BackPack Program. All three grants, including the latest $100,000 award, were made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program, which strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the United States.
To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Applicants must have a current 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at www.walmartfoundation.org/stategiving.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation over the last fiscal year gave more than $26.6 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Pennsylvania --- a 34.6 percent increase over the prior year. Globally, the company and its Foundation donated more than $13 billion to nonprofit groups, surpassing the previous year’s total by more than $244 million. Total customer and associate giving totaled another $3.39 million.
In addition, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in America. As part of its historic “Fighting Hunger Together” commitment, Walmart donated 12.96 million pounds of food, or nearly 10.6 million meals, to Pennsylvania food banks in the last fiscal year.
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