BENTONVILLE, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Walmart U.S. today announced it is transforming its community engagement program, aimed at creating new and different ways to engage Walmart associates and customers in supporting their communities through its new Walmart Rise initiative. To kick off the initiative, the company is launching a campaign to deepen local engagement. The company will give an additional $5,000 to every Walmart store and distribution center across the U.S. this year, totaling over $24 million, to help spark change in their local communities. The community funds are designed to boost Walmart’s expected local community grant giving to nearly $70 million in this fiscal year.
“We’ve been on a journey over the last few years to strengthen our business. It started with investing in education, training and wages for our people. We’ve invested in our stores and eCommerce and delivered lower prices to our customers. Now we’re focused on further strengthening our role in communities, transforming our community giving and deepening our local relationships,” said Greg Foran, president and CEO, Walmart U.S. “Through our Walmart Rise initiative, we will create a spark in our stores that makes Walmart a special place for our customers and associates. That spark can also bring about positive change in our communities the way it does in our stores, and we are taking action to make it happen.”
In this kickoff campaign, facility managers will be asked to engage associates in making a positive impact in their communities as they will help decide how the $5,000 is invested. For example, associates may be encouraged to decide which causes will have the most impact in their neighborhood. Walmart’s current community giving includes a variety of organizations, such as animal shelters, elder services and community clean-up projects. The one-time $5,000 per facility builds on Walmart’s ongoing community effort. Last year, Walmart gave more than $42 million in local grants, provided over 3 million free health screenings and donated more than 640 million pounds of food to local food banks, over 55% of which was fruits, vegetables and meats. Additionally, associates volunteered 776,000 hours to organizations in their communities.
The additional $5,000 per facility is a catalyst and the first initiative for Walmart Rise, a planned sustained effort to create a long-term cultural transformation around community engagement through stores to build closer communities. Other Walmart Rise initiatives will be rolled out further in the coming year.
“We’re part of neighborhoods and communities across the country, 4,800 of them. The role Walmart and our associates play in communities is an important part of our company’s heritage and a source of pride for us,” said Foran. “The spark we create makes a big difference to the communities where we have stores, and where our customers and associates live. We believe it’s a competitive advantage for us to support our communities while we provide convenient access to affordable, healthier food, good jobs, disaster relief and support for local causes our customers and associates care about.”
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 275 million customers and members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.