SALEM- Walmart associates and shoppers helped "fight hunger" for an area food pantry, collecting food items at the company's Stuff the Truck event Saturday.
Approximately 20 associates at the Salem store were asking customers to pick up extra non-perishable food items to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, which helps feed families in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.
The event was part of Walmart's nationwide Fighting Hunger Together campaign.
Salem Walmart associates teamed with the Second Harvest Food Bank to collect food items for the organization Saturday. From left, Jeremy Sheridan, food bank truck driver; Walmart associates Sue Dye, manager Kristen Kratochvil, Bobbie Whitlach, Dodi Householder, Paula Clark, Lane Hardwick, Carol Ritchey and Victoria Kloos; and Shirley Freed-Matula, food bank resource development associate. (Salem News photo by Kevin Howell)
"To live in a community where businesses and people care like this, we couldn't do what we do without it," said Shirley Freed-Matula, a resource development associate for the food bank. "These kinds of donations help us fill the 13,000 emergency food requests we receive each week."
A second Stuff the Truck event will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 28 at the Austintown Walmart.
In addition to the food collection, Walmart is coordinating an online competition offering communities up to $1 million in hunger-relief funds.
Walmart is asking all Facebook users to visit its Facebook page to vote for their community among 200 nationwide with high unemployment and poverty rates. The top 20 communities will receive $50,000 each and the highest vote winner will receive $1 million. Second Harvest Food Bank was ranked sixth as of Saturday morning.
To vote for Second Harvest Food Bank, go to Walmart's Facebook page and select the Fighting Hunger icon, then select Second Harvest Food Bank under the Youngstown-Warren, OH, community. Facebook users can vote once per day through April 30.
"People think that one person can't make a difference," Freed-Matula said. "Well, with one vote we can win $1 million, with one item (of food) we can fill a truck, with $1 we can distribute $15 worth of food."