East Texas Food Bank wins $45K grant - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

East Texas Food Bank wins $45K grant

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EAST TEXAS (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - The East Texas Food Bank was selected as one of 40 winning Feeding America food banks to receive a $45,000 grant from Walmart's Fighting Hunger Together initiative, where people visited a website to vote for the grant winners.

"Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for the East Texas Food Bank," said Dennis Cullinane, executive director of the East Texas Food Bank, in a news release. "We truly appreciate East Texans support and the ongoing generosity of Walmart. These grant funds will be used to expand the East Texas Food Bank's BackPack Program."

The BackPack Program provides meals to children who participate in school meal programs during the week, but who may go hungry on weekends.

Every dollar raised for the program goes toward purchasing food for hungry children. At a projected cost of $4.50 per backpack, this grant would provide food for 10,000 backpacks, according to the release. That's enough for 278 children to participate in the program throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

The East Texas Food Bank is one of more than 200 Feeding America food banks throughout the United States. The Feeding America network of food banks and its partner agencies, such as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and after-school programs, feed 37 million people annually, including nearly 14 million children.

"We want to thank the local organizations, volunteers and customers who participated in this campaign and work to support their communities year round," said Julie Gehrki, senior director of the Walmart Foundation.

"Through their efforts, we can bring attention to the need local communities experience during the spring months and help fill the gap by providing ways for customers to generate millions of meals and volunteer."

The Fighting Hunger Together initiative is part of Walmart's and the Walmart Foundation's $2 billion commitment through 2015 to fight hunger. To learn more about the program and Walmart's commitment, visit www.walmart.com/hunger.

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