LeBron James is known for putting his money where his heart is and making good on promises. Since opening the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, James has been committed to enriching the lives of students and their families through education and community building.
The I Promise School’s mission is to “positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives. We believe that an education and living an active, healthy lifestyle is pivotal to the development of children and young adults.”
With that mission in mind, James has partnered with Walmart and Sam’s Club for the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign to help America secure a billion meals for local food banks. This announcement follows James’ $1 million grant to promote physical activity at his school.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in eight Americans experience food insecurity. That’s nearly 40 million people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
“Growing up in Akron, the whole city supported my dreams; supported my friends’ dreams; gave us shelter; gave us food. We always felt like we had that support. Partnering with Walmart is about the commitment to the community. Walmart has done so many great things all over the world, but, it starts in their hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas—the same as me starting in my hometown of Akron, Ohio. We don’t forget where we come from.” said James in a video announcing the partnership.
As a part of Walmart’s five-year partnership with Feeding America, they have been able to provide 749 million meals to hungry Americans. And through this campaign, 150 million Walmart customers and Americans are being encouraged to purchase featured food items and make monetary donations towards the effort.
“As we go into our sixth year of the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign, it’s exciting to approach the 1 billion mark in terms of charitable meals secured by Feeding America over the life of the program,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “Food insecurity continues to affect communities across the United States. Working with Feeding America, our customers, members, associates and suppliers, Walmart and Sam’s Club aim to be part of the solution.”
With 251 million meals to go, James is determined to help them meet their 1 billion meal goal.
“The Feeding America nationwide network of 200 member food banks serves people in every single county in the United States. Food banks are not just providing food to our neighbors in need, they are providing nourishment, hope, and dignity. We are tremendously grateful to Walmart, Sam’s Clubs, and the 18 dedicated campaign suppliers for coming together through Fight Hunger. Spark Change. to help people who struggle to put food on their tables and for providing everyone the opportunity to give back.” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America.
In addition to the campaign, Walmart will gift food to the I Promise School’s pantry with toiletries, clothing items, and other necessities to support students and their families.