Walmart gave all of the Walmart Moms a challenge-How much food could we buy for their Fighting Hunger Drive for $50? I was happy to take my gift card and head on in to Walmart with all my little tips and tricks to see how well I could do.
I documented the trip in a video:
Walmart had a list of most needed items, which is a good starting place for any charity food donation you might be shopping for:
- canned tuna
- canned chicken
- peanut butter & jam
- spaghetti sauce & noodles
- canned beans
- canned nuts
- canned vegetables
- canned fruits in lite syrup
- 100% fruit juice
- canned milk
- evaporated milk.
To sum up my frugal living tips for grocery shopping for charity:
1. Choose non perishable items.
If you buy an item that will go bad before it is distributed to a family-or that they could let go bad on their shelves-it’s a waste of money. Buy non perishable goods only.
2. Check your unit prices.
Don’t always assume that the store brand, or the biggest box will be the cheapest. Check your unit prices before making your selections.
3. Consider smaller packages
Although unit price is important, you may want to buy several smaller items so that it can be spread around to more families. A 48oz can of stewed tomatoes might be slightly cheaper per oz, but if you buy four 16oz cans you will be able to help more families. Also the single family who gets the 48oz can might open it up, use it in one meal and wind up throwing out the excess!
4. Keep food selections simple.
I considered briefly buying dry beans for the drive. They were on the list and are a high quality protein. However my experience working twice a year at the local food pantry is that you can’t GIVE dried beans away. I don’t know what the issue is-if they are intimidating (ooh, you have to soak them) or if it’s because you have to plan ahead to use them-but folks just refuse them. So although it was a higher unit price I decided to purchase canned beans. They are still frugal. Just not quite as frugal as dried.
Do you want to help out?
The Walmart in store food drive is ending today-but there are plenty of other ways to help out! Check out the great app that Walmart has to help you find volunteer and giving opportunities in your own community that help fight hunger.
Walmart not only gave me the money to participate in their in store food drive, but they have made a long term corporate commitment to fighting hunger. Walmart has pledged over $2 billion by 2015 in nutritious food, cash and equipment to help in the fight against hunger.
More immediately, Walmart has a special Fighting Hunger campaign going on right now that you can participate in. They are “putting 1.5 million dollars in your hands”. You simply go to the Walmart Fighting Hunger website and using their map “Like” the community that you think the money should go to. The most voted on community by December 31st will receive 1 million dollars, and the next five runner up communities will receive $100,000 each*.
There are lots more really fantastic initiatives that Walmart has this season-they are giving 65 refrigerated trucks (valued at nearly $6 million) to Feeding America, a $1 million grant to The Salvation Army that will be used to purchase meals for families in-need and $4.6 million in funds to local food banks. It’s nice to see Walmart giving so much back to the local communities.
So what are your favorite hunger related charities to give to or participate in? Do you have any additional shopping for charity tips? I’d love to hear them!
*Note: The communities listed were chosen from a list of 100 metropolitan statistical areas ranked as the most food insecure communities by the Food Research and Action Center’s Food Hardship Report.
Once the winning community and the five (5) runner-up communities have been determined, the Walmart Foundation will determine, based on its donation criteria (see “More Information”), which hunger-fighting organizations in those communities will receive donations and how much those donations will be. (The $1,000,000 donation for the winning community and the $100,000 donations for each of the five (5) runner-up communities will be dispersed to numerous organizations in those communities; the Foundation will not simply write six (6) checks to the communities themselves.)
Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign I am participating in with the Walmart Moms. Walmart has provided me with compensation for this post. My participation is voluntary and opinions, as always are my own.