Thanks a Million!
Over the last year, the Walmart Foundation became the first U.S. retailer to give more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind donations to nonprofits. The foundation focused its giving to causes that support hunger and disaster relief, health eating, sustainability efforts, and career opportunity. And we here at the Alliance are excited that our cause, childhood obesity, was able to be part of it.
Our goal as an organization is to transform the places where kids spend their time into healthier environments that support childhood health. As many know, these places include schools and homes, but they also include what we in the space call out-of-school time settings.
Out-of-school time settings are the afterschool programs, community centers, summer camps, and faith-based organizations around our nation. So basically, the places where kids spend their time before and after school, during schools breaks, and over the summer.
And these environments are important places to offer healthy snacks and meals and teach healthy eating.
Walmart saw the potential to positively affect these areas around our nation and joined our Healthy Out-of-School Time efforts with a two-year, $1.5 million grant. Their generosity has allowed us to increase the number of trained and dedicated staff working in U.S. communities as well as helped us increase the number and quality of resources we can offer any out-of-school time program around the country.
With Walmart’s support, we have doubled our Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative to provide direct support to out-of-school time programs within eight communities nationwide. We have grown from working with about 30 sites (aka the individual programs we work with within each community) to now working with more than 150 sites.
Together we are working to create long-term capacity within out-of-school time settings to increase children’s access to nutritious snacks and meals and improve families’ ability to extend their children’s healthy food and beverage choices at home.
Thus, one of the resources resulting from this collaboration is youth and family nutrition training. We are providing kids and their families with practical nutrition skills to eat healthily and affordably, while helping out-of-school time providers bring communities together and perpetuate the conversation on health through neighborhoods, families, and generations.
We are excited to continue spreading the message of healthy eating in communities nationwide and thank Walmart for their support to enhance our efforts.