The Walmart Foundation has kicked off a summer-long initiative to help children and families gain access to nutritious meals and learn healthy-eating habits. Walmart is also collaborating with Chef Lorena Garcia, chef and author with TV appearances on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and NBC’s “Biggest Loser,” to launch the Eat Healthy Together Challenge on Twitter.
The family-focused initiative includes $15 million in grants that will provide meals and nutrition education to 1.4 million children and families in more than 1,500 communities.
The six nonprofit organizations set to receive grant funding from the Walmart Foundation, include Children’s Health Fund, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National 4-H Council, National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and YMCA of the USA (The Y). Additionally, as part of the initiative, Walmart has kicked off a five-week Eat Healthy Together Challenge this week designed to encourage families to prepare and eat healthy meals together throughout the summer.
“We know that summer can be a challenging time for millions of children who rely on the nutrition from free or reduced cost school meals,” said Julie Gehrki, senior director of the Walmart Foundation. “Through our relationships with dedicated nonprofit organizations, this summer, we will further our commitment to help people gain access to healthy foods and develop nutritious eating habits. We are proud to support this work which will reach over a million children and families in more than 1,500 communities.”
The Eat Healthy Together Challenge encourages families to eat healthy meals together at least three times a week. Families can join the challenge by following @WalmartHealthy on Twitter and posting photos or updates on Twitter of themselves eating healthy meals together using hashtags #EatHealthyTogether and #Contest. They are also encouraged to check @WalmartHealthy each Monday for the announcement of the winning Challenge Tweet of the week. Each winner will be awarded a $25 Walmart gift card.
The challenge will run from now through Monday, Aug. 4, with the first gift card to be awarded Monday, July 7. Entries need to be received by 10 a.m. EST on Mondays to be considered for the contest each week.
“Parents and caregivers are the single most influential role model when it comes to nutrition, and in turn, it falls on their shoulders to help children learn healthy eating habits,” said Chef Lorena. “Walmart’s Eat Healthy Together Challenge is a fun, interactive way to help encourage more families to eat healthy together by providing them with the resources they need to succeed. Fostering a routine now will help ensure the habit continues during the school year and beyond.”