National Recreation and Park Association Receives $2.1 Million Grant from Walmart Foundation to Support Summer Feeding Programs

Grant will help provide an estimated 4.9 million meals to children in 2010 and 2011

ASHBURN, Va., June 21, 2010 – The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has received $2.1 million from the Walmart Foundation to support summer feeding programs in up to 30 park and recreation agencies across the U.S., serving an estimated 4.9 million meals to children in 2010 and 2011.

The grant is part of Walmart’s recently announced $2 billion commitment to help end hunger in America through its “Fighting Hunger Together” initiative, which includes $250 million pledged to support hunger relief organizations at the national, state and local levels through 2015. “At Walmart, we're committed to fighting child hunger. We know millions of kids who receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year are at risk of going hungry in the summer months,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Through our partnership with NRPA, we'll be able to ensure that nearly 5 million kids in need will receive nutritious meals.”

Each year for a period of two years, NRPA will award grants to 15 park and recreation agencies for feeding programs that will provide a combined 111,962 meals per day to qualified children in the summer months. The list of cities benefiting from this gift in 2010 include Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta, Ga.; Austin, Texas; Bakersfield, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Columbus, Ohio; Greenville, S.C.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Montgomery, Ala.; Portland, Ore.; San Diego, Calif.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; and Wichita, Kan.

A report released in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that an estimated 49 million Americans struggle to get enough healthy food to eat, and it’s estimated that one in four children are at risk of food insecurity in the U.S. During the summer months, the number of children that receive free or reduced-price federally-sponsored meals drops about 80 percent to that of the school year, from roughly 17 million to 2.9 million children.

“Park and recreation agencies are at the front line in the fight to build and maintain healthy communities,” said Barbara Tulipane, CEO of NRPA. “The generous gift from the Walmart Foundation will help our local champions provide nutritious meals for millions of children and support the development of a healthy, connected and active generation of Americans.”

For more information on NRPA’s food service programs, contact Jimmy O’Connor at joconnor@nrpa.org.

For more information on Walmart’s commitment to hunger relief, visit www.walmart.com/fightinghunger.

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on hunger, education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From Feb. 1, 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally, $467 million of which was donated in the U.S. For more information about Walmart’s Fighting Hunger Together initiative, visit www.walmart.com/fightinghunger.

About the National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of roughly 21,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.

For more information, visit www.NRPA.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrec-magazine.org.