ROGERS, Ark. - As the primary charitable beneficiary of this year's Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank will receive a minimum cash and food donation of $500,000, tournament officials announced today.
According to Marge Wolf, President and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank, this gift on behalf of the tournament and its sponsors represents the single largest contribution the organization has ever received.
"A gift of this size has the potential to help feed 40,000 families in need in this region," Wolf said. She added that the gift will also enable the Food Bank to purchase an additional refrigerated vehicle to help the organization transport food throughout the region.
Established in 1988, the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank distributes approximately six million pounds of food annually to individuals and families in need through 130 agencies and affiliates in the region.
“The catalyst for this gift was a $200,000 cash contribution to the Food Bank from the Walmart Foundation,” said Jay Allen, Tournament Chairman. “The Foundation gift came in the form of a challenge grant with the expectation that the tournament and its sponsors would follow suit with contributions of their own totaling at least $200,000. In fact six other tournament sponsors along with the tournament responded to the challenge grant with an additional $300,000 in cash and food donations to the Food Bank bringing the total contribution to a minimum of $500,000.”
In addition to this contribution, those attending the M&M’s/Extra Dickson Street Concert in Fayetteville featuring Huey Lewis and the News on Friday, Sept. 9 will be able to add to this contribution. The concert is free to the public but those in attendance will have an opportunity to make a voluntary donation of $5 or more with all proceeds benefitting the NWA Food Bank.
Along with the Walmart Foundation, the sponsors who made contributions of cash and food toward this initiative include Campbell's, General Mills, Kraft, Mars & Wrigley, Sara Lee and Tyson.This contribution adds to the tournament's history of charitable outreach in Northwest Arkansas. Last year more than $235,000 in charitable contributions was given to local charities through cash contributions and a special charity ticket program.