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Walmart, United Samaritans team up to fight hunger
USF pic
Dozens of hungry people line up for free lunch from the United Samaritans Daily Bread truck at Sunnyview Park. - photo by Journal file photo

Every day, across the country, people are struggling to put food on their tables. That's why Walmart and the United Samaritans Foundation are giving back to the community by partnering up to fight hunger together.
In 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation launched "Fighting Hunger Together," a $2 billion cash commitment to help hunger in America by donating nutritious food to non-profit organizations. In California, Walmart donated 10.2 million pounds of food to local food banks, equivalent to 8.5 million meals in the last fiscal year.
"For the past year Walmart has donated a grant to the Daily Bread Mobile Lunch Program by providing fresh fruits and vegetables to our low income residents," said Maris Sturtevant, chief operating manager of Turlock's United Samaritans. "It's been awesome how many people we've given fresh fruits and vegetables to this past year."
The United Samaritans Foundation also provided lunches, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, to 1,910 very low income, low income, and homeless individuals in Turlock, Ceres and Keyes.
"We serve between 1500-1700 lunches a day and every Friday we provide a bag of groceries with fresh produce for our people," said Sturtevant.
The bags of groceries contain a variety of produce items including potatoes, watermelon, pears, corn, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Since July 2012, USF has given out 16,752 bags of groceries filled with fruits, veggies and a quart of milk.
"We'll also throw in some cottage cheese or other healthy items in the bag," said Sturtevant. "This is a good thing for the USF because we are trying to change the way people are eating. Obesity is an epidemic and we are grateful that we are able to use this grant by increasing the amount we are serving our lunch program."
In February 2012, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced grants totaling $9.5 million to give thousands of Americans access to nutrition education classes, cooking demonstrations and nutritional recipes-essential tools to living a healthier life. These grants are part of the more than $13 million the Walmart Foundation has awarded as part of Walmart's healthier food initiative - which includes a commitment to increase funding for nutrition programs.
"Walmart is committed to fostering meaningful partnerships with nonprofit organizations throughout California," stated Kim Sentovich, senior vice president of the Pacific Division of Walmart. "Together we are tackling important issues like hunger, economic opportunity, and sustainability, and making a positive impact on the lives of millions of people across our state."