Creating opportunities for people to live better, one community at a time

The Walmart Foundation strives to meet the needs of underserved populations across the U.S. and supports organizations that positively impact local communities. Through financial contributions, in-kind donations and volunteerism, Walmart and its associates are committed to operating globally and giving back locally.

Walmart's associates, stores and clubs play an instrumental role in determining how charitable dollars are allocated. The Walmart Foundation focuses on the needs most relevant to the communities where we live and work; specifically, we work in four focus areas:

Increasingly we are also focused on leveraging our philanthropic resources alongside our size and scale to maximize impact on local communities. As the world's largest grocer, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the growing issue of hunger. Walmart and its Foundation are two years into an unprecedented $2 billion commitment to fight hunger in America. Also this year, we doubled our commitment to $20 million over five years to support job training and education for military veterans as they transition to the civilian workforce. We also are providing $100 million in philanthropic support to Walmart's women's economic empowerment initiative, which aims to improve women's employment, education and business opportunities.

The following pages illustrate that our vision of giving often begins in the stores and clubs, but extends well beyond those walls. We have provided a sampling of real-life stories illustrating that, whether giving through its stores and clubs, State Giving Councils, or the National and International Giving Programs, we are committed to positively impacting the quality of life in the local communities we serve.

Making a difference locally

Helen Walton Award winner, Sam's Club #8253

Our giving starts in the local community, with every Walmart and Sam's Club providing Community Grants to nonprofits that are making a difference in their hometown. Additionally, through our Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP) program, the Walmart Foundation awards grants to local organizations where associates volunteer.

The impact of these programs comes to life in communities like Jacksonville, Fla. By giving of their time, talent and Foundation grants, our Jacksonville associates clearly demonstrate that taking care of their local community is a top priority. One Sam's Club, in particular, has gone above and beyond to make a positive impact.

"As the new club manager for #8253, I am in awe of and completely inspired by the associates at this club. For our associates, it's not about winning the award but serving the community in which we work and live."

Kristina De La Rosa,
club manager, #8253

In 2011, Sam's Club #8253 awarded 12 Community Grants totaling $8,500 to organizations like the Cherokee of Georgia Tribal Council and the Clara White Mission community center. Providing funding to these organizations helps ensure that crucial services administered by these organizations will continue.

Through the VAP program, the club's associates contributed more than 3,500 volunteer hours in 2011. That effort resulted in more than $26,000 to local organizations that are helping their families, neighbors and customers in the Jacksonville area to live better.

Club #8253 also exceeded their six-week Children's Miracle Network Hospitals fundraising goal of $6,000 by 431 percent, raising more than $25,000. The money generated by the club directly benefited the Wolfson Children's Hospital and the Shands Hospital at University of Florida.

For its exemplary service to the community, Sam's Club #8253 was recognized by Walmart and the Walmart Foundation as the winner of the 2011 Helen R. Walton Excellence in Community Leadership Award.

Fighting hunger statewide

Connecticut Food Bank

One of the things our State Giving Program is focused on is addressing hunger in local communities in a given state. For example, in 2011 our Connecticut State Giving Council granted $100,000 to expand the Connecticut Food Bank's Kids' BackPack Program, which benefits more than 1,700 students in more than 60 schools across the state by providing meals to families in need on weekends and holidays.

"This program literally keeps them on their feet and food in their children's bellies so they can grow and learn."

Eunice Rosa, assistant director of the Family Resource Center at the Cesar Batalla School, Bridgeport, Conn.

For a growing number of American schoolchildren, weekends signify uncertainty as their families struggle to determine how they will find their next meal. That is why Eunice Rosa, assistant director of the Family Resource Center at the Cesar Batalla School in Bridgeport, Conn., said, "The Connecticut Food Bank's BackPack program is one of those things I wouldn't want to imagine being without. It really is the difference between families with young children getting fed or having to wait through the weekend until school opens again on Monday to get another bite to eat."

Cesar Batalla, which serves 1,100 pre-K through eighth-grade students, is one of more than 60 schools across the state to receive an allotment of food packs from the Connecticut Food Bank each week. Each pack contains two breakfast servings, two lunch servings, two milks, two juices, fruit, granola and crackers. The school receives 200 packs each week, which are discreetly distributed to students who qualify for free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program. "One mom came to me in October and thanked us repeatedly because she honestly didn't know how she and her three children were going to eat otherwise," Eunice said.

According to Feeding America, while the state of Connecticut as a whole has the highest per capita income in the U.S., the harsh reality is that nearly one in five children in the state come from food-insecure homes. In addition, more than half of those children's families make too much annually to qualify for federal nutrition assistance programs. According to Eunice, a growing number of families have income but face the decision of paying their utility bills or putting food on the table.

"In many cases, these families make just enough that they don't qualify for federal assistance programs but not enough to cover all their basic necessities," Eunice said. "That's where this program has such a big impact — it helps those families that fall through the cracks of the traditional system."

Connecting veterans with skills and opportunities

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities

Our National Giving Program funds organizations like the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) that operate across the country with a continued focus on addressing unmet needs in local communities. While these national grants focus on organizations with scale, they remain focused on making a positive impact for individuals like John Raftery and the more than 500 veterans who have gone on to start more than 300 businesses since graduating from the EBV.

One look at the numbers shows John as a model of success. Four years after launching Patriot Contractors, a construction company based in Waxahachie, Texas, he has 23 employees and last year his firm generated nearly $5 million in annual revenue. Yet, John would be the first to acknowledge that there was a time when he was struggling to get his life back on track.

John served in the initial invasion of Iraq as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Marine Division in 2003. He returned home to his wife and three young children a year later with impaired hearing, chronic knee pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). John was in a "very dark place," but then he discovered the EBV on He had been considering entrepreneurship opportunities for several months but didn't know exactly what he wanted to do or how to do it.

"This has all been so freeing. EBV truly helped me get my life back on track."

John Raftery, United States Marine Corps, Ret.
Owner, Patriot Contractors

"It turns out, he found just what he was looking for with the EBV," said Mike Haynie, a 14-year Air Force veteran who founded the program. "While he didn't have a real idea of what type of business he wanted to create, he knew construction was something he had experience in. That ended up opening the door he so desperately needed to open."

With renewed confidence from the EBV, John and his wife started Patriot in 2007 with a few small government contracts. The company has continued to grow beyond John's expectations. John has also extended a helping hand, as many of the employees he has hired are fellow veterans, who were facing similar challenges following deployment.

Changing lives through literacy

City year

Through working with programs like City Year, the Walmart Foundation's National Giving Program is investing in high-impact organizations working in local communities across the country to improve educational outcomes for underserved youth. City Year corps members like Meaza Yalew and her 2,000 peers that are improving the adolescent literacy rate in communities like Washington, D.C.

When Meaza earned her undergraduate degree in history from Indiana University, she decided to join the City Year corps for a year before pursuing a master's degree. Now that decision has Meaza and one of the teenagers she tutored rethinking the direction of their lives.

"I'll never forget my first day when I saw him burst into tears when someone asked him a basic question," Meaza said. "He had been wrong so many times; he was scared to even speak anymore."

This was one of several D.C.-area eighth-graders Meaza worked with one-on-one during the 2010-11 school year. When they met, he was reading at a kindergarten level. But through one-on-one tutoring, both during and after school hours, Meaza managed to spark something in him.

"In our sessions, I relied heavily on the lesson plans and activities from the Walmart Middle School Literacy Initiative website," Meaza said. "In fact, he loved the reading games on the website so much that I used them as a reward when he completed his other reading assignments. We got to a point where all he wanted to do was play those reading games because he could see it was clicking."

By the end of the school year, the student had improved his reading ability by four grade levels and had the confidence he needed to continue improving. One year later, he is enjoying academic success as a high school freshman."

"He's a completely different person now," said Meaza, who is now in her second year with City Year. "All he needed was a chance. The experience changed my life as well. I feel like I've found my calling."

International giving

Walmart gives back to communities in all of its international markets through giving programs, managed locally. Broadly, we focus our international philanthropy in the areas of women's economic empowerment, hunger and nutrition, environmental sustainability and disaster relief. Each international business is also encouraged to give back to local causes and organizations.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Improving food security

Massmart represents the newest member to the Walmart family but its commitment — beyond its physical store walls — to the communities it serves is one to be admired.

According to the World Food Program, an estimated 40 percent of South African households are vulnerable to food insecurity. Children are particularly vulnerable, which hinders their ability to learn. While schools across the country attempt to provide balanced, hygienically prepared meals for students, many often lack the proper facilities, bowls, utensils and more. Massmart recognized fundraising within these already financially challenged communities was not a viable solution, so it partnered with the South African Ministry of Education in 2008 to begin building as many as 2,000 container kitchens.

These portable units are second-hand shipping containers converted into fully equipped kitchens fitted with gas burners, plumbing, a double-bowl sink, cupboards, stainless steel preparation counters, shelving, cooking pots, utensils and pink tumblers and bowls for every child. To date, container kitchens have been set up in seven provinces across South Africa, as well as Zambia and Malawi, and are expected to provide 19.6 million meals during the school year.

By providing more than a financial handout, Massmart continues to make a real and immediate impact on a major national issue. These efforts have improved the lives of thousands of children who are now able to learn on a full stomach, while providing facilities that will serve schools across the country well for years to come.

In addition to the container kitchens program, Massmart supports food security through its partnership with the FoodBank South Africa (FBSA). Since 2009, Massmart has donated 15 tons of Max-a-Meal, a nutritious supplement, to FBSA.

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE)

With Massmart joining the Walmart business this year, we welcomed the opportunity to work on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) in South Africa. Today's South Africans are citizens of a young democracy, and everyone deserves a dignified and prosperous life. We have therefore aligned our efforts to the South African Department of Trade and Industry's BBBEE Code of Good Practice to ensure that we contribute to a sustainable and equitable society.

We have focused on creating economic opportunities for our employees through their participation in the Thuthukani Employee Share Trust. Black employees own 8.2 percent of Massmart through this trust and have benefited from significant capital growth in their investment since the trust's launch in October 2006. Many employees will, however, consider the $59 million paid out by the Thuthukani Staff Empowerment scheme when the Walmart transaction was completed as one of the most significant BBBEE milestones achieved by Massmart.

Massmart has undertaken two important initiatives aimed at educating black undergraduates and providing new black graduates with workplace experience. The Massmart bursary scheme awards five bursaries per annum to black commerce undergraduates registered to study in the commerce faculty at the University of Pretoria. Our Graduate Development Programme identifies and provides qualified but inexperienced graduates with access to a structured program comprising practical work experience and related classroom training. A total of 177 graduates have participated in this program in the period January 2007 to January 2011.

We also believe that it is key to the success of empowerment that organizations advocate commitment to transformation amongst their peers and business partners. With this in mind, Massmart consistently advocates compliance with the BBBEE Codes of Good Practice to our supplier base, placing particular emphasis on the Group's top 400 suppliers. Our suppliers are, as a result, demonstrating greater willingness to improve upon and share their BBBEE progress with Massmart.

Empowering women entreprenuers

The Walmart Foundation committed more than $2.5 million in grants to projects aimed at improving the lives of women in Latin America. Through the Latin America Women's Initiative, projects funded in six countries are empowering more than 9,000 women, building their capacity to rise out of poverty, support their families and improve their communities. Organizations receiving funding include:

  • Pro Mujer: $300,000 will allow Pro Mujer to expand its footprint into two new regions within Argentina, reaching more than 3,900 women with its integrated package of services, including microfinance; business and empowerment training; preventative health education and high-quality, low-cost primary health care.
  • TechnoServe: More than $485,000 will allow TechnoServe to provide 750 Nicaraguan women the financial skills, support and networks needed to reach their full potential as business leaders.
  • CHF International: Nearly $500,000 will help CHF increase the incomes of 200 vulnerable women in four Honduran municipalities by improving their business and legal skills and increasing their engagement in sustainable production value chains.
  • Save the Children: More than $400,000 will allow Save the Children to work with 3,000 women in San Pedro Masahuat, El Salvador, a municipality heavily damaged by Hurricane Ida in 2009, to improve production value chains related to poultry and local sweets.
  • Aid to Artisans: Nearly $490,000 will allow Aid to Artisans to help more than 800 Wayuu women in northern Colombia increase their incomes from handicraft sales by providing business training, product design support, new market development and buyer linkages.
  • Heifer International: More than $340,000 will help Heifer International provide 700 women in the Peruvian highlands with training in agricultural production, animal health management, soil management and market analysis, helping the women be better positioned to sell their final products.


Walmart Argentina and Ashoka, an organization that identifies and invests in social entrepreneurs, launched the Driving to Transform challenge. Focused on women entrepreneurs, the goal of the challenge is to reward innovative, sustainable ideas, which have high social impact, and provide training, counseling and possible access to seed capital. This program has a three-year duration and is divided into three individual cycles. In the first stage, 15 social projects were developed in the provinces of Buenos Aires and Cordoba, which benefitted the female entrepreneurs and their communities.


In 2011, Walmart Brazil and its foundation, Walmart Institute, donated more than 2,800 tons of food to local social organizations via its Food Bank Program. More than 2,000 stores participated in the program, benefiting hundreds of charities.


Walmart Canada helped raise $3 million in 2011 for the Breakfast Clubs of Canada, which provides thousands of children with access to a nutritious start to the day. As part of our in-store fundraising campaign, Walmart customers were invited to purchase a $1 bookmark, which equals one nutritious breakfast for a child. The in-store campaign raised more than $2.2 million and received more than $646,000 in corporate matching grants. Since 2005, Walmart Canada, its customers, associates and suppliers have raised and donated close to $16 million for Breakfast Clubs of Canada, making Walmart Canada the Breakfast Club of Canada's largest corporate donor.


In 2011, our Women's Development Fund supported four projects in poverty-stricken counties, including: fresh corn planting of Wanquan County, Hebei $23,000; dairy cow and pig farming of Xian County, Hebei $23,000; pig and chicken farming of Pucheng County, Shanxi $54,000; and chili pepper and ginger farming of Huayuan County, Hunan $46,000. These efforts benefited nearly 1,300 villagers, including 310 women, each of whom received $470.


In 2011, Walmart Mexico Foundation channeled donations of $44.5 million to social causes in the country. In addition, we support a variety of local organizations, including the Mexican Association of Food Banks (AMBA), to which our stores contributed 1,867 tons of food to assist in feeding 588,836 Mexicans per month. Through our Your Help Is Their Food campaign, launched in 2011, we donated $950,000 and more than 303 tons of food to 43 food banks.

Central America

Walmart's operations in Central America channelled $1.2 million to various causes in 2011.