Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina Receives $25,000 Grant from the Walmart Foundation to Fund Infrastructure and Equipment Needed for Handling Fresh Food

Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina (SHFB), an Action Pathways program, today announced a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to fund the infrastructure that will ultimately help the food bank’s partner agencies secure and distribute more nutritious food 2L0A6638.JPGto families in need. The grant will support investments in the equipment necessary to handle perishable products, such as refrigerated vehicles; coolers and freezers for transporting, storing and distributing food; thermometers and temperature calibration devices; among other items.

“One in five people struggle with hunger in Cumberland and the surrounding counties including more than 51,000 children,” said Ron Pringle, Program Director for Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina. “We are thankful to the Walmart Foundation for helping to ensure that people who struggle with hunger have access to nutrient-rich food. This grant will go a long way in helping Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina and our partner agencies serve the following counties: Bladen, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Robeson and Sampson. “

Addressing hunger, or food insecurity, is one of Action Pathways’ focus areas in its mission to help those facing economic hard times get back cans.jpgon their feet. In support of that focus area, Second Harvest Food Bank secures fresh, perishable food from retailers across the seven-county area.  With a predominantly rural service area, SHFB leverages partner agencies to secure product from their local grocery retail store, allowing SHFB to salvage more product and more quickly get it into the hands of clients.  With this award, SHFB will be able to help build its partner agency’s capacity to safely transport, store and distribute fresh, as well as, perishable product that requires temperature control.  Items such as refrigerators, freezers, portable coolers and thermal blankets have been identified by our partners as items needed to increase their efforts.

The Walmart Foundation has been instrumental in helping food banks rescue and distribute more perishable food from retailers across the United States in a sustainable, cost-effective way.  This grant is a part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s ongoing commitment to helping families who struggle with hunger by providing four billion meals to people in need in the U.S. by 2020. 

Since 2009, the Walmart Foundation has been a leading supporter of infrastructure grants to Feeding America food banks and their member agencies.  Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to the Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks.  Locally, in the first five months of 2017, Walmart has donated more than $1.4 million dollars in retail value food and non-foods with 2L0A6663.jpgmore than 40 percent being fresh produce. 

With food insecurity remaining high throughout the country, the ability to distribute more food is critical for food banks. According to the USDA, more than 42 million people nationwide are food insecure, which means that they may not know where they will find their next meal. In our seven-county service area more than 151,000 residents are food insecure.  To learn more about what the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina is doing to fight hunger, visit: actionpathways.ngo/hunger. 

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