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Wal-Mart donates food, cash to fight hunger

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Wal-Mart is partnering with Feeding America, the largest charitable hunger-relief organization in the United States, to provide 70 million meals annually to families and individuals who are struggling to put food on the table during the toughest economic downturn in decades.

The move from the world’s largest retailer comes as U.S. food banks are seeing donations fall short of demand.

Wal-Mart has committed to providing an estimated 90 million pounds of food annually – the equivalent of 70 million meals – to families in need by the end of 2009. It is also making a $2.5 million cash donation that has been earmarked to upgrade warehouses and to buy 20 new refrigerated trucks to transport food from Wal-Mart stores to food pantries, soup kitchens and other agencies affiliated with Feeding America, formerly named America’s Second Harvest.

“Given the current state of the economy and the increased burden on neighborhood food pantries and soup kitchens, we are enlisting our entire network of stores and clubs to participate in this food donation program to provide relief to communities throughout the country,” said Bill Simon, chief operating officer of Wal-Mart U.S.

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