Walmart U.S. is transforming its community engagement program, aimed at creating new and different ways to engage Walmart associates and customers in supporting their communities through its new Walmart Rise initiative. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company will give an additional $5,000 to every Walmart store and distribution center across the U.S., boosting Walmart’s expected local community grant giving to nearly $70 million in this fiscal year.
“We’ve been on a journey over the last few years to strengthen our business. It started with investing in education, training and wages for our people. We’ve invested in our stores and eCommerce and delivered lower prices to our customers. Now we’re focused on further strengthening our role in communities, transforming our community giving and deepening our local relationships,” said Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “Through our Walmart Rise initiative, we will create a spark in our stores that makes Walmart a special place for our customers and associates. That spark can also bring about positive change in our communities the way it does in our stores, and we are taking action to make it happen.”
In this kickoff campaign, facility managers will be asked to engage associates in helping to decide how the $5,000 is invested. For example, associates may be encouraged to decide which causes will have the most impact in their neighborhood. Walmart’s current community giving includes animal shelters, elder services and community cleanup projects. Last year, Walmart gave more than $42 million in local grants, provided over 3 million free health screenings and donated more than 640 million pounds of food to local food banks, over 55 percent of which was fruits, vegetables and meats. Additionally, associates volunteered 776,000 hours to organizations in their communities.
The additional $5,000 per facility is a catalyst and the first initiative for Walmart Rise, a planned effort to create community engagement through stores. Other Walmart Rise initiatives will follow in the coming year.
“We’re part of neighborhoods and communities across the country, 4,800 of them. The role Walmart and our associates play in communities is an important part of our company’s heritage and a source of pride for us,” said Foran. “The spark we create makes a big difference to the communities where we have stores, and where our customers and associates live. We believe it’s a competitive advantage for us to support our communities while we provide convenient access to affordable, healthier food, good jobs, disaster relief and support for local causes our customers and associates care about.”
Walmart Inc. operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries . With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide.