With the catastrophic storm, flooding and power outages affecting southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas, Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation are committing up to $2.5 million in cash and in-kind product donations to organizations leading hurricane relief efforts.
The funds and product donations will support hurricane relief efforts in the area through four non-profits already active in the response, including the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, SBP USA (Saint Bernard Project), American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
In addition to aid for these organizations, the company is donating more than 600,000 bottles of water to the Louisiana Governor’s Office on Homeland Security and local non-profits to support impacted communities.
“Hurricane Laura has significantly impacted our associates, customers and the communities we call home, leaving many without power and basic services that may not return for weeks,” said Dan Bartlett, EVP of corporate affairs for Walmart Inc. “Our hearts go out to those affected, and we gladly leverage our resources to assist where needed.”
In addition, Walmart and Sam’s Club are also supporting evacuees in Texas, providing phone charging stations in the Lake Charles area and hosting food relief organizations in a store parking lot in Louisiana. As people were evacuated from southeast Texas late last week, many were housed in San Antonio where Walmart supplied a shelter with water, snacks and towels.
For those without power in southwest Louisiana, Sam’s Club has set up charging stations at three area clubs so that people may charge their mobile phones. To help those that need hot meals, food relief organizations are handing out food and meal kits to first responders, associates and those impacted by the storm at the Walmart store on Gerstner Memorial Boulevard in Lake Charles.
At present, only one Walmart store remains closed. All other stores and Sam’s Clubs in the area are back up and running, some with limited hours. For store and club operating hours, customers may check local store Facebook pages or call clubs directly.
During times of disasters, the company’s priority is the safety of their associates. Walmart and Sam’s Club work to take care of associates and their families by communicating with store and club location management teams, reminding associates of emergency procedures and what to do during and after the storm. The company is providing hurricane relief assistance to displaced and affected associates, setting up support centers in the impacted areas and calling associates to conduct wellness checks.
Walmart has a long history of providing aid in times of disasters, helping communities prepare and recover by donating emergency supplies, such as food and water, home and personal products. Since FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $58 million in cash and in-kind donations to support disaster preparedness and relief efforts.