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New Grant Funding Helps the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank Rescue More Food From Local Grocers

Monday January 22, 2024

The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank received a $1 million grant from Walmart Foundation and Feeding America®, part of a continuing, multi-year partnership to strengthen food banks and agency partners in rural communities and communities of color disproportionately affected by food insecurity.

The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank will use the funding to hire in house Procurement Coordinators and to purchase different equipment like trucks, refrigerated storage, and other essentials for partner agencies to increase the capacity and amount of food it can offer the 11 parishes it serves. Louisiana is #1 in the nation in child and senior hunger. 1 in 6 children in the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank’s 11-parish service area are food insecure.

“Building capacity in our network means bringing new partners to the table, adding new staff, procuring new equipment, and inspiring more people to join the movement to end hunger. This generous grant adds up to a significant, meaningful increase in the amount of food we’re making available in our community,” said Mike Manning, President and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

The Retail Agency Capacity Building Grants were awarded to a total of 20 Feeding America partner food banks to enhance retail rescue programs in which fresh, frozen and shelf-stable foods are donated by grocers for pickup by food banks and agency partners.

With the Walmart Foundation and Feeding America grant funding, food banks and agencies will increase the number of weekly food pickups through the purchase of new equipment like refrigerated vans, freezers and forklifts. Grant funding will also help food banks and agencies add resources like staffing, training and new technology.

“Local food banks are key to making retail food rescue programs successful and expanding access to healthy food for people in our communities, which is why it’s so important to invest in their ability to innovate and efficiently pick up food donations,” said Julie Gehrki, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Walmart Foundation. “The Walmart Foundation’s investment builds on our continued support of the Feeding America network as we work together to strengthen the charitable meal system and end hunger.”

For nearly 20 years, Walmart, the Walmart Foundation and Sam’s Club have revolutionized food banking and transformed retail rescue in partnership with Feeding America, local food banks and partner agencies to provide fresh, nourishing food to people facing hunger in communities nationwide.  To build and ensure sustainable capacity in local communities, Walmart Foundation has funded more than 200 vehicles to help with local food recovery efforts, invested in critical research to identify opportunities to capture more surplus food and provided millions of dollars in grants to build infrastructure to more equitably serve neighbors in need.  As Feeding America’s largest food donors, Walmart and Sam’s Club have donated more than 7.5 billion pounds of food since 2006.

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