Turning the Hearts Center receives $25,000 to expand operations of Hearts for the Hungry Food Distribution Center

SAN DIEGO (November 17, 2014) – Turning the Hearts Center received a $25,000 contribution from the Walmart Foundation’s California State Giving Council on November 15 to assist with expanding the capacity and operations of the Hearts for the Hungry Food Distribution Center, which provides a unique self-choice food bank program in San Diego’s South Bay.

“We are so appreciative of Walmart and this generous donation, which will allow us to serve more local families in need,” said Marc Lovato, Executive Director of Turning the Hearts Center.  “We strive to help families meet the most essential of needs – having enough food to eat – while promoting self-respect and dignity.  Walmart’s partnership furthers this mission and helps better the lives of those in our community.”

Turning the Hearts Center launched Hearts for the Hungry Food Distribution Center in 2012.  The Distribution Center operates twice a month and is setup like a typical grocery store.  Allowing clients to choose their own foods, the format helps to promote family dignity and remove the stigma from food distribution.  With the funds provided by the Walmart Foundation, the Center plans to double operations, opening once every week.

“We are proud to support the work of Turning the Hearts Center as it provides critical services to San Diegans in such a benevolent way,” said Craig Abbott, San Diego County Walmart Market Manager. “Walmart strongly believes in giving back locally, and we look forward to watching this great organization continue to positively impact lives.”

The grant was presented to Turning the Hearts Center during a check presentation ceremony held on Saturday at the nonprofit’s headquarters in Chula Vista, CA. During the ceremony, Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox joined Executive Director Marc Lovato and Board Chair Sergio De La Mora to commend Walmart for its support of the program.

“Walmart has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment as a dependable community partner in the South Bay,” said Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox.  “I am pleased to see the company support the valuable work of Turning the Hearts Center, which is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of local families.”

Philip Serghini presented the grant on behalf of the Walmart Foundation and spoke about the company’s commitment to ending hunger in America.

The contribution to Turning the Hearts Center was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s California State Giving Program. The program granted more than $250,000 to nonprofits in San Diego County in 2014, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego, Embrace, Arc of San Diego, Neighborhood House Association, Parent Institute for Quality Education, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and San Ysidro Education Vanguard Foundation.  The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application.  Applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria.  Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at www.walmartfoundation.org/stategiving.

About Philanthropy at Walmart 

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.

About Turning the Hearts Center

Turning the Hearts Center, founded in 2001, grew out of a growing community demand to foster programs that empower youth leadership development and strengthen families. The Center seeks to develop future leaders, strong families and rebuild communities by offering a number of youth and adult empowerment programs, including work, health and shelter programs.

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