Walmart adjusted its promotional calendar as the COVID-19 pandemic took precedence as the most urgent and universal social cause facing society today.
The retailer worked with Feeding America to move up the launch of its seventh annual “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” (FHSC) campaign and begin collecting online donations earlier than originally planned, giving consumers a way to help each other by supporting their local food banks.
Walmart kicked off the effort with a $3 million donation, and participating manufacturers Campbell Soup Co., Conagra Brands, General Mills, Kellogg Co., Kraft-Heinz, J.M. Smucker Co., PepsiCo, Clorox Co. and Unilever committed nearly $30 million in cash and in-kind donations to organizations helping to meet the intensifying need for food assistance. A larger group of partner brands is also supporting the typical purchase-triggered donations from April 13 to May 10.
“The FHSC campaign has been a way for Walmart and Sam’s Club to partner with our suppliers and customers to help bring food to the people who need it most. … It’s been an important effort every year, but this one is especially critical,” Walmart wrote in a media release.
On March 27, the mass merchant deployed a mobile push notification inviting consumers to help and linking to a mobile landing page detailing the effort. From there, visitors can reach a Feeding America donation page. That day, the retailer also shared a promotional video in a Facebook update, noting that “These days, food banks are experiencing more demand than ever.” In previous years, Walmart had made additional donations triggered by social media shares via consumers, but that was not part of this flight.
The retailer had departed from its regularly scheduled promotional programming on social media midway through March, for the next two weeks instead focusing exclusively on delivering vital store policy updates as well as thanking and celebrating employees. The latest videos uploaded to YouTube explain how “easy” it is to get grocery delivery and pickup as more consumers turn to these options.
The Walmart Foundation also has pledged $10 million to food banks, and school and senior meal programs via nonprofits as part of a separate $25 million commitment to supporting organizations on the coronavirus frontlines.