There’s still time to support Walmart’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign! Today is your last chance to stock up on groceries at your local Walmart or Sam’s Club or visit Walmart.com/fighthunger to learn more about how you can add your support. When you chip in, your dollars stay local – ensuring that families in your zip code have the food they need to live healthy, hopeful lives. You’ll be supporting community pillars like Main Street Mission who work hard to feed not only stomachs, but the hopes and dreams of our neighbors trying to make ends meet.
Challenges Created by the Pandemic
Every week, Main Street Mission hands out over one-hundred food boxes to struggling neighbors. To give you an idea of how the pandemic affected people in surrounding communities, Raul, the Mission’s Director, shared some stunning figures with us during our visit last week. In 2019, the Mission handed out 2,466 boxes of food. That averages about 47 boxes of food per week. In 2020, however, that number skyrocketed. At the conclusion of 2020, Raul said “After the final numbers were in, I had to do a double-take. The increase was something we knew because we experienced it – we saw the lines of cars. But to see the numbers on paper, it really reminded us what we went through last year. What people are still going through.”
That number – 32,985 – was thirteen times the amount of food boxes they had distributed in 2019.
Raul, who’s been with the Mission for 14 years total, took over as Director from founders Gary and Marilyn Williamson six years ago. From humble beginnings, Marilyn Williamson started her work in hunger relief when she owned a pawn shop and started feeding visitors out of her personal crock pot. Now, Main Street Mission serves hundreds of families each month.
For those who line up to receive food at Mission, they’re greeted by warm smiles and familiar shouts of “Hey! How have you been?” You’ll also find Raul or one of his many volunteers sharing friendly exchanges with families asking about family members, or a relative’s health. Everything is personal. “We have people who have been coming for a while. It’s not our place to judge, it’s our place to help – and that’s what we do. We help” said Raul.
Partnerships Make it Work
What makes this work possible, Raul would share, are the partnerships in the community – whether that’s a volunteer who shows up to help, the local Walmart that arranges weekly pickups or the Foodbank that sends food every week. “It all works together and we’re able to help people because of it,” said Raul. “We pick up from Walmart two time a week, sometimes even as far as Clarksville – and sometimes they’ll send trucks. However it gets here, there’s always produce, bakery items or meat. Food that is nutritious and that our families love.”
How You Can Help
When you support Fight Hunger. Spark Change. you’re ensuring that local families have food to put on their tables. You’re investing in a system that works tirelessly to ensure local pantries and volunteers have the resources they need to win the fight against hunger in local communities. Visit Walmart.com/fighthunger to learn more about how you can add your support.
Food insecurity is an issue in every community, and everyone can help their neighbors who need it most through the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign.
When everyone works together, life gets better, communities become stronger, and real and lasting change can be made. Customers and members can help people facing hunger in our community when they participate in the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign in the following ways:
- Donate at check-out in stores and clubs, or at either www.FeedingAmerica.org/Walmart or www.FeedingAmerica.org/SamsClub.
- Round-up at check-out on Walmart.com and the Walmart app.
- For every participating product purchased in store or online at Walmart.com or SamsClub.com, the supplier will donate the monetary equivalent of at least one meal ($0.10) on behalf of a Feeding America member food bank at Walmart and five meals ($0.50) at Sam’s Club, up to applicable limits. See specially marked packages for full details.