Walmart Puerto Rico has made a donation of 36 containers of food and essential items valued at $1.5 million to the Food Bank of Puerto Rico, which will be distributed among different entities.
The items are already being delivered to senior, children and mental health centers; nonprofit organizations that serve people with disabilities, the homeless and people in rehabilitation; correctional complexes and community-based organizations that provide social services, among others. In addition, groceries were distributed to federal employees who, due to the government shutdown had not received their salary for a month.
“Fighting hunger is one of our company’s priorities, so we have a close collaboration with the Food Bank of Puerto Rico to reach thousands of homes across organizations they serve through its various programs,” said Viviana Mercado, senior manager of corporate affairs at Walmart Puerto Rico.
“These thousands of pounds goods constitute an additional contribution to the donations that since 2009 our company, through our Walmart, Sam’s Club and Amigo formats, has delivered weekly to the charity. Knowing that we are helping those in need fills us with satisfaction,” she said.
The Food Bank of Puerto Rico, whose mission is to meet the needs of people suffering from food insecurity through 138 nonprofit organizations, serves different populations that do not have the financial resources to buy food for their homes. The organization distributes annually an average of 5.3 million pounds and serves more than 123,000 people.
Currently, it is estimated that in Puerto Rico more than 1.6 million people live below the poverty level, which means that nearly 50 percent of the population suffers from food insecurity.
It is also estimated that approximately 52 percent of children under 18 in Puerto Rico live below the poverty level, so thousands of children go to sleep without eating.
In October 2014, Walmart announced a commitment to creating a more sustainable food system focused on improving the affordability of food by reducing the “real cost” of food for both customers and the environment, increase access to food and facilitate healthy eating, and improve security and transparency of the food chain.
This commitment includes the goal of providing 4 billion meals for those fighting hunger in the United States and Puerto Rico in 2020.