Walmart Foundation now accepting applications from Florida nonprofits

By Ingrid Vega….
The Walmart Foundation currently is accepting applications from Florida nonprofit organizations for its annual State Giving Program. Created to carry out the retailer’s commitment to giving back to local communities, nearly $2 million in grants were issued to 34 Florida-based charities in 2010.

Launched in 2008, associate-led State Advisory Councils work with the Foundation to identify needs within their state, review grant requests and make funding recommendations to the Foundation. Applications may be submitted online through Apr. 22 and grant amounts start at $25,000.

“At Walmart, we are always looking at ways to make a long-lasting impact in communities across Florida,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart senior manager for public affairs and government relations. “Our aim is to work with organizations that address basic unmet needs. Our Walmart associates have unique insights when it comes to understanding the needs within their local communities, and their involvement in the funding process is invaluable.”

The funds granted from the State Giving Program are utilized to establish new programs or elevate existing initiatives that zero in on the following areas:

Education — Organizations addressing the educational needs of underserved young people ages 12-25;

Workforce Development/ Economic Opportunity — Organizations providing job readiness, skills training and support services for workers with moderate skills;

Health and Wellness — Organizations that improve access to healthcare and reduce health care disparities;

Environmental Sustainability — Organizations that seek to promote production systems that sustain people and the environment by reducing waste;

Current Focus on Hunger Relief — Walmart and the Walmart Foundation made a $2 billion commitment through 2015 to hunger relief efforts in the U.S. The Foundation seeks to fund initiatives that integrate hunger relief into the main areas listed previously.

In November 2010, nine hunger-based organizations throughout Florida were surprised with two impromptu check presentations held at America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend (Tallahassee) and Feeding South Florida (Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties). In Tallahassee, America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Bay Area Food Bank and Bread of the Mighty Food Bank received a combined amount of more than $300,000 in funds to assist in their hunger relief efforts. While in South Florida, Feeding South Florida, Farm Share, Ruth Rales Jewish Family Services, The Poverello Center, Cross Road Food Bank and Star of the Sea Foundation received a combined amount of more than $400,000.

To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application, available at <>. Eligible applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum funding criteria. Grant submissions are only accepted online.

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