News and Tribune

December 16, 2013

Walmart Foundation awards ‘Blessings in a Backpack’ to Clark, Floyd schools

Grant to help fight childhood hunger in Indiana in Southern Indiana


> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Five hundred more Southern Indiana school children will have food to eat on weekends thanks to a $50,000 grant given today by the Walmart Foundation to “Blessings in a Backpack,” according to a news release from Walmart.

The grant assists Feeding the Future of Indiana which allows the program to serve more students during the 2013-14 school year and to expand Blessings’ support network of volunteers, funding partners and community advocates. Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health and increased attendance have all been attributed to the success of this program. Just $80 feeds one school child in the program for an entire 38-week school year.

“We are so thankful for the donation that the Walmart Foundation is making to the Blessings in a Backpack program. Because of partners like Walmart we can continue with our mission to end childhood hunger,” said Nikki Grizzle, director of marketing and public relations for Blessings.

The grant was presented to Blessings in a Backpack during a check presentation ceremony at the Fairmont Elementary School. The school is one of 53 Indiana schools served by Blessing in a Backpack. Before the ceremony Walmart volunteers helped fill backpacks with food for this weekend’s distribution. During the ceremony Walmart Market Manager Martin Laffoon presented the check Nikki Grizzle from Blessings and Michelle Day, who coordinates the Blessings’ program at the Floyd County schools.

“The Walmart Foundation knows organizations such as Blessings in a Backpack are essential to building stronger communities. Blessings shares our values and is committed to helping those in need in the communities we serve,” Laffoon said. “Through this grant, we’re confident children’s lives throughout Indiana will improve with good, nutritious food on weekends.”

Blessings in a Backpack provides elementary schoolchildren who are on the federal free and reduced price meal program with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year. Backpack food includes easy-to-prepare, ready-to-eat foods, like granola bars, juice boxes, mac and cheese, and oatmeal.

The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better, awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online

As part of Walmart’s $2 billion commitment to fight hunger through 2015, Walmart stores in Kentucky donated over 8 million pounds of food, in fiscal year 2012, or the equivalent of 6,729,195 meals. Additionally, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave over $16,000,000 in fiscal year 2012 in Kentucky alone. For more information on Walmart’s fight against hunger, visit