Walmart backs commitment to health with $9.5 million

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is following through on its commitment to give consumers the best access to affordable, nutritious foods by donating $9.5 million in grants to organizations with a shared mission of promoting healthy eating habits.

The funding will support nutrition education programs, provide classes focused on learning to cook and shop for healthier foods on a budget and provide live cooking demonstrations in communities nationwide, the company annnounced in a press release.

In January 2011, Walmart, alongside First Lady Michelle Obama, announced an initiative to provide customers with healthier and more affordable food choices. This effort includes a commitment to increase funding for nutrition programs that help educate consumers about healthier food choices.

"We want to help our customers make healthier decisions whether that's through their in-store experience at Walmart or through taking a class focused on nutrition education," Walmart SVP sustainability Andrea Thomas said. "The grants we're announcing today will give thousands of Americans access to nutrition education classes, cooking demonstrations and nutritional recipes — essential tools to living a healthier life."

Walmart's donations are detailed below:

  • Action for Healthy Kids: $1.5 million to help increase access to healthy food and improve nutrition education at 400 schools nationwide. Program expects to increase access to nutrition programs to 160,000 school-aged children;

  • American Medical Association Foundation: $300,000 to expand nutrition and health programs at 11 free clinics nationwide, serving more than 7,000 individuals;

  • Children's Health Fund: $1.3 million to enhance obesity screening and nutritional counseling to 10,000 low-income and homeless children in six states and provide ongoing nutritional education through the Starting Right program;

  • League of United Latin American Citizens: $500,000 to support healthy living education courses and community health festivals. The program is expected to reach more than 8,000 individuals;

  • National Black Child Development Institute: $300,000 to provide nutrition education to African-American families with young children in five cities, serving more than 10,000 participants;

  • National 4-H Council: $1.35 million to deliver healthy living education to 40,000 youth in 15 states through Youth Voice: Youth Choice program. State councils also will be encouraged to develop healthy living action plans to combat unhealthy eating habits;

  • National Latino Children's Institute: $225,000 to encourage healthy nutrition practices and help prevent chronic disease among 5,000 Hispanic children and their families;

  • Oldways: $100,000 to encourage dietary changes in the African-American community through Oldways' African Heritage Diet program. The program will provide nutrition education to 4,000 participants; and

  • Share Our Strength: $4 million to provide grocery store tours to 7,500 participants through Shopping Matters which helps low-income families learn how to shop healthy on a budget. 31,000 participants also will be reached through Cooking Matters, a six-week course on how to cook healthier meals on a budget.

More information on Walmart's commitment to nutrition education can be found here.