The communities of Baxter, Grand Rapids and Princeton helped to raise $31,730.69 for local families in need through Walmart and Sam’s Club’s “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign.

In its sixth year, Walmart and Sam’s Club engaged 18 suppliers and the public in its nationwide campaign that raises money for local food banks and brings national attention to the issue of hunger.

In north-central Minnesota 1 in 9 struggles to put food on their tables, according to a news release. Hunger also impacts 1 in 6 children in the region.

“Second Harvest North Central Food Bank works hard every day to help people who may not know where they will find their next meal. We need everyone to join the fight to end hunger and we are tremendously grateful to Walmart, Sam’s Club, their associates, dedicated suppliers and everyone in our community who helped to support the ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign,” stated Susan Estee, executive director of Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, in the release.

Each Walmart and Sam’s Club worked with at least one of the 200 local Feeding America member food banks, raising money by encouraging shoppers to make a donation or purchase participating items in-store or online. For every participating product purchased, the equivalent of one meal was donated to a local food bank.

More than $26 million were raised this year through “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.”

“Because of the generous support of our suppliers, customers and associates, food banks will be able to do even more this year to help meet the needs in their communities,” stated Julie Gehrki, vice president of the Walmart Foundation, in the release. “We are passionate about fighting hunger, and through this campaign, we have taken another significant step to help raise awareness of hunger in America and support local efforts to increase access to healthier, nutritious food.”

Every dollar raised can provide four meals to hungry individuals and families throughout north-central Minnesota. The ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign has a great impact on the region by providing over 126,000 meals, organizers stated. Also in the region, Walmart stores provide thousands of pounds of fresh food through food rescue and support the Kids Pack BackPack Program through store grants.

To learn more, visit www.secondharvestncfb.com.