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Walmart Foundation awards $75,000 to HEP
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Roma Vesselov, left, manager of Walmart Neighborhood Market in Palm Harbor; and Rhonda Graham, Walmart Market manager, right, present a $75,000 check to Ashley Lowery, HEP president and CEO.
CLEARWATER – As part of their commitment to fight hunger in Florida, local leaders from Walmart and The Walmart Foundation recently presented a $75,000 check to the Homeless Empowerment Program in Clearwater.

HEP is an award-wining social services agency, housing nearly 400 men, women and children each day. Last year, HEP provided more than 100,000 nutritious meals to homeless and very low-income families and individuals, including veterans.

“Having a partner like Walmart allows HEP to continue serving three meals a day, 365 days per year to those who need it most,” said Ashley Lowery, HEP president and CEO, in a press release. “Over the years, local Walmart stores and the Walmart Foundation have shown their commitment to serving our community by donating more than $87,000 to HEP, along with serving as volunteers and providing much-needed in-kind items.”

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed to provide four billion meals between 2015 and 2020 to people in need. In Florida during FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation helped local communities with more than $82 million in cash and in-kind contributions to Florida nonprofits, and Walmart donated nearly 45 million pounds of food to local Florida food banks – equivalent to more than 37.5 million meals.

“Walmart is uniquely positioned to help fight hunger here in Florida and create a long-lasting, positive impact in communities across the state,” said Monesia Brown, Walmart’s State Giving Program Council Chair. “Supporting local hunger-relief programs is one way in which we are doing just that, helping Florida children and families have access to nutritious food.”

The difference being made by Walmart’s generosity is being felt across the nation and here locally at HEP, as residents of the program express their gratitude for having access to fresh, nutritious meals.

“Being a single mother, it can be difficult to find the time and resources to cook a healthy meal for my family, so having meals already prepared is really helpful and allows me to save money,” said current resident Sara Morris, who lives in HEP’s Permanent Supportive Housing for families. “Thanks to grants like the one from Walmart, I can feed my son nutritious and well-portioned meals.”

Additional information about Walmart’s commitment to hunger relief and complete funding guidelines are available online at found­ation­.walm­art.c­om.
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