(Toledo News Now) – On Thursday, the Walmart Foundation announced 12 Ohio nonprofit organizations have been awarded a total of $745,000 in grants through its State Giving Program to assist in the fight against hunger, help children in need and support community and professional development initiatives.
The grants were awarded during four check presentation ceremonies held in Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo and Sidney, where Walmart representatives joined leaders from the charitable organizations to discuss the initiatives and positive impact they are having in their respective communities.
"This year the associates and representatives from the Walmart Foundation's State Giving Council are pleased to continue its support for the war against hunger in communities around the state," said David Gose, Walmart's regional general manager for southern Ohio. "This year we looked to broaden our reach by providing support for organizations that are making a difference in the lives of women and children and the communities in which many of us live."
Among the organizations receiving grants were:
- Agape Distribution (Sidney) - $75,000 for a new refrigerated food delivery truck
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland (Cleveland) - $25,000 to support its Academic Success program
- Cleveland Foodbank (Cleveland) - $100,000 for its cold storage expansion project
- Faith Mission, Inc. (Columbus) - $50,000 to support its healthier foods program
- Feed Lucas County Children (Toledo) - $50,000 to build capacity and support other community agencies
- Foundation for Appalachia Ohio (Nelsonville) - $100,000 to leverage community development initiatives throughout the region
- Grove City Food Pantry (Grove City) - $25,000 for food and emergency services
- Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio (Columbus) - $100,000 to support healthier foods and healthier finances programs
- Maryhaven (Columbus) - $25,000 to support the Women's Career Empowerment Center
- The Urban League of Greater Cleveland (Cleveland) - $50,000 to support the Bridging the Gap program to provide workforce development services
- National Society to Prevent Blindness – Ohio Affiliate (Statewide) - $45,000 for the Star Pupils Program
- Ohio Association of Foodbanks (Statewide) - $100,000 to help build capacity of the emergency food network across the state
"Our network of 12 member Feeding America foodbanks has seen a 45 percent increase in need for emergency food assistance since the height of the recession three years ago," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. "Walmart and the Walmart Foundation continue to recognize and elevate the vital importance of hunger relief to our local communities. Their support of our statewide hunger relief initiatives remains integral to the fulfillment of our mission to provide food and other resources to people in need, especially during historic levels of need in our state."
The contributions were made possible through the Walmart Foundation's Ohio State Giving Program. Through this program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award grants that have a longlasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.
In 2011, Walmart stores, Sam's Club locations, along with the Walmart Foundation, gave more than $32.8 million in cash and in-kind donations to local organizations they serve in Ohio communities.