The Walmart Foundation Awards $405,000 to Vital Minnesota Nonprofits

Ten Minnesota organizations receive grants for unwavering commitment to helping people live better

MINNEAPOLIS – March 10, 2014 – The Walmart Foundation’s Minnesota State Giving Program has awarded $405,000 to 10 nonprofits throughout the state dedicated to serving residents through its core areas of giving: hunger relief & healthy eating, sustainability, career opportunity and women’s economic empowerment.

We are excited to support the outreach efforts of these organizations to achieve our shared goal of helping communities throughout Minnesota live better,” said Shane Miller, Walmart regional general manager in Minnesota. “Through the Minnesota State Giving Program, the Walmart Foundation is able to donate funds directly to local organizations that support their communities in areas including hunger relief, sustainability, career opportunities and women’s economic empowerment.”

Twice a year, the Minnesota State Giving Program looks for organizations that address the needs of the communities they serve and make a significant social impact. The following nonprofits received a State Giving grant to fund vital local programs that have proven to help those in Minnesota live better. Nonprofit recipients in Minnesota include:

Tubman has been awarded a $25,000 grant to support and provide meals to its Family Violence Shelters. Tubman is Minnesota’s largest provider of domestic violence shelter services, with 128 beds in their facilities in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties. In addition to emergency shelters for victims of domestic violence, Tubman provides access to 11 transitional housing units at Tubman Center West for up to two years.

Tubman’s shelter residents have pressures most of us can’t imagine. When we feed these moms and their children healthy, nutritious meals during their stay, it reduces their stress and gives them examples of good eating habits that will last long after they leave,” said Junauld Presley, director of residential services. “We’re thrilled to have support from Walmart to meet this basic need in such a powerful way.”

American Red Cross has been awarded a $55,000 grant to deliver nursing assistance training and jobs to Minnesota residents who are under-employed or unemployed.

House of Charity Inc. has been awarded a $40,000 grant to support its Food Centre. The Food Centre is the only public lunch program in Minneapolis and is open every day of the year. Staff and volunteers prepare and serve free, hot, nutritious meals to 350 men, women and children each day.

"We are so grateful for the continued support of the Walmart Foundation that aids in the continued and daily operation of our Food Centre to feed the more than 350 men, women, and children who dine with us every day of the year,” said Bert Winkel, executive director of House of Charity, Inc. “The Food Centre relies solely on charitable donations, grants, and philanthropic support and so the support from the Walmart Foundation has been vital. Thank you!"

Loaves and Fishes Too received a $25,000 Minnesota State Giving grant to support its Fresh Fruits and Vegetables initiative. In 2012, the organization served more than 358,000 meals to those in need.

We will be using the Walmart grant to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Cathy Maes, Loaves & Fishes executive director. “We serve more than 1700 meals a day and with this grant we will be able to increase their nutritional value.”

Metro Meals on Wheels has been awarded a $30,000 grant to assist with its Intake and Sustainability program. The nonprofit aims to increase capacity and efficiency of the Meals on Wheels intake system throughout the Twin Cities and ensure that all who need home-delivered meals receive them.

The generous support from the Walmart Foundation and its Minnesota State Giving Program gives Metro Meals on Wheels the capacity to more seamlessly connect seniors in need with our neighborhood partners to ensure they have access to healthy and nutritious meals in their own homes,” said Patrick Rowan, executive director of Metro Meals on Wheels.

Open Arms of Minnesota Inc. received a $50,000 grant to provide meals to people with life-threatening illnesses. Open Arms of Minnesota Inc. is the only nonprofit organization in Minnesota that cooks and delivers free meals specifically tailored to meet the nutrition needs of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, breast cancer and more than 60 other life-threatening diseases.

Thanks to the support of Walmart, hundreds of Minnesotans and their families will receive the comfort and health benefits of ongoing meal delivery,” said Leah Hébert, executive director. “People living with serious illness in our community should never have to worry about where their next meal comes from. That is why Open Arms of Minnesota is passionately dedicated to making sure that our most vulnerable neighbors have access to home-delivered, nutritious meals.”

Youth Farm and Market Project received a $50,000 grant for its Urban Klatsch program. Youth Farm promotes food justice by growing new relationships between youth and food, meeting the wellness needs of local communities and recognizing historical narratives and current exploitation in the food system.

We are very happy to have support from the Walmart Foundation,” said Gunnar Liden, executive director Youth Farm and Market Project. “Support from the Walmart Foundation’s Minnesota giving program will allow Youth Farm to continue to provide free programming for over 800 urban youth as well as assist us in getting over 12,000 pounds of produce into our programs and home with the youth that participate in our year round efforts in 2014.”

Boys & Girls Club of Central Minnesota received a $30,000 grant to support its daily meal program and comprehensive nutrition program to build healthy lifestyles in the youth it serves. Last year, the Boys & Girls Club of Central Minnesota served more than 51,000 meals and 41,000 snacks and expects to serve a similar number this year.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota was awarded a $75,000 grant to provide shelf-stable meals at more than 200 Senior Nutrition sites statewide.  The grant makes it possible for meals to be stored at senior dining sites and on hand for distribution when inclement weather makes travel unsafe. By providing nutritious meals when other food options are not available, seniors are more likely to maintain an independent lifestyle and avoid placement in a long-term care setting. 

Rural Enrichment and Counseling Headquarters Inc. has been awarded a $25,000 grant to support the organization’s BackPack Program, which provides school children with food to take home and consume over the weekend each Friday during the school year.

The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better, awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S. In 2013, Walmart’s Minnesota State Giving Program granted a total of $705,000 to 17 Minnesota nonprofits.

In 2012, in Minnesota, the Walmart Foundation awarded more than $16.9 million in cash and in-kind contributions as well as more than 8.4 million pounds of food, equivalent to more than 7 million meals. Additionally, in 2012, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation became the first partner of Feeding America to surpass 1 billion meals donated.

To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria. Minnesota based nonprofits are encouraged to apply for Walmart State Giving Grants beginning April 2014. For more information, visit http://foundation.walmart.com/apply-for-grants/state-giving.

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