3.7 million households were unable to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children in 2014 according to a government report released this month. Millions of these children lack other basic items they need to thrive. Feeding America reports that families who struggle financially often make difficult trade-offs. In 2013, nearly three in four (73 percent) low-income families cut back on food in order to afford products such as personal care and baby care items.
Champions for Kids, General Mills, Kraft Heinz, Kettle Brand Chips, Unilever and Walmart have partnered to help make a difference and to make it simple for communities to provide basic resources for students through in-store donations. From September 21 to October 5, customers at more than 3,200 participating Walmart stores can purchase necessities such as personal care products, breakfast items or snacks for children and place them inside designated donation bins or take them directly to a school or nonprofit organization.
This is an opportunity for individuals across the country to become Community Champions. Jesus Medina of Visalia, Calif., explained his motivation for his efforts during a previous program: “Having that member in the community get inspired by the drive and go out to Walmart to donate, then getting that item from the bin to the child’s hands and, finally, there it is: The moment that the community worked for, the moment that keeps that fire in our belly burning, the moment that can’t be described in words, that moment is—the smile. That smile is a few seconds in length but lives and lasts forever.”
Champions for Kids and its partners will provide 6 awards, totaling $90,000, to school districts and youth-based organizations based on the total number of donated items collected through the two week program. The Fill the Cart for Kids opportunity is part of SIMPLE Giving, a Champions for Kids program seeking to make it simple for shoppers to purchase and donate items to children in need.