The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank (NWAFB) announced a $3,806,866 grant from the Walmart Foundation to support its Food For Today. Hope For Tomorrow. capital campaign. This is the largest monetary gift to date in the Food Bank’s history and will be used to help build the Walmart.org Volunteer Center in the NWAFB’s new Center for Hunger Relief in Lowell and provide the first three years of startup costs for new and expanded programs.
“Walmart has been a driving force behind our efforts to nourish, feed and lead our community,” said Kent Eikenberry, President/CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank. “This gift is a true testament to their commitment to addressing food insecurity and improving communities where they do business.”
In order to respond to increasing need for hunger relief, driven by a growing Northwest Arkansas population and the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank and its Board of Directors have developed a strategic plan to expand capacity, introduce new programs and increase nutritious food distribution by more than 60 percent by 2025. This plan is supported by a $25,000,000 capital campaign: Food For Today. Hope For Tomorrow.
When complete, the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank will distribute millions of pounds of food annually from a new 82,700 square-foot facility that will include a volunteer center, teaching kitchen, community room, teaching garden and expanded office space. New programs will be launched to improve access to fresh, healthy foods and wrap around services through a mix of client choice distribution methods.
“Creating access to healthier food must be a priority for our growing community,” said Rachel Spencer, senior manager, strategic initiatives, Walmart.org. “The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank is increasing the availability of nutritious and culturally relevant food options to those in need in the region, and we’re thrilled to support their great work.”
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide comprehensive support for the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank, including food donations, executives serving in volunteer leadership roles, operational mentorship and strategic funding to pilot new programs or build capacity to feed more hungry Northwest Arkansans and respond to crises or emergencies.
To date, more than $17,000,000 has been committed to the capital campaign. To learn more about the Food For Today. Hope For Tomorrow. capital campaign, please visit https://hope.nwafoodbank.org/.