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Walmart helping set the table for area's hungry

Monday, April 26, 2010

Walmart and its foundation gave $45,000 and more than 1 million pounds of food to the Southeast Missouri Food Bank during its current fiscal year, which will end in June. The $45,000 was used to purchase a truck used to visit Walmart and Sam's Club stores in the food bank's 16-county service area and pick up donated food and household items. This effort is part of a Feeding America Network Program, said Karen Green, executive director of the Southeast Missouri Food Bank at 3920 Nash Road in Cape Girardeau.

"Walmart has been a long-time donor, but last year we forged a partnership that absolutely doubled our ability to acquire food and get it into the network," Green said.

The food bank has one full-time employee dedicated to bringing donated supplies from Walmart to its facility. Walmart also provides volunteers at the food bank site and recently donated backpacks to the Backpacks for Friday program.

The food bank serves 157 not-for-profit agencies in Southeast Missouri providing food to those in need.

* ReStore accepting appliances: People who took advantage of the recent Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday, which ended Sunday, to replace their appliances are encouraged to donate their used items to the Cape Area Habitat for Humanity's ReStore.

"This motivated a lot of people to buy new appliances even if their old ones weren't worn out," said Walt Wildman, manager of ReStore, 17 N. Middle St.

"This will generate a lot of used, good appliances we can use."

ReStore staff will pick up used appliances from people interested in donating them. ReStore is listed on the Missouri Department of Natural Resources assessment inventory used to help track repurposed appliances.

DNR spokeswoman Renee Bungart said to receive the Energize Missouri Appliance rebate program (a separate program from the sales tax holiday), participants are required to take their appliances to a recycling center where they will be dismantled. ReStore is open from noon to 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

* Dealership recognized for sales: Morlan Chrysler in Cape Girardeau was named the top volume dealer in the Outstate Missouri District based on 2010 first quarter sales by the Chrysler Corp. The district includes 13 dealerships outside of the St. Louis metro market.

* Old Town Cape auction Friday: The 23rd annual Charles L. Hutson Auction will be Friday in the Riverview Room of Buckner Brewing Co. Both a silent and live auction are planned with items donated from local businesses including fine jewelry, antiques, artwork and more. The auction is the largest annual fundraiser for Old Town Cape, which is a 501(c)3 organization. All proceeds benefit Old Town Cape and downtown revitalization efforts. Tickets are $30 each or $280 for a table of 8 and can be purchased at Old Town Cape by calling 334-8085. Tickets will also be available at the door. Old Town Cape is a nationally accredited Main Street Program that works to build a downtown community that cherishes its past and is an economically viable district.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.<I>

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It is Walmart employees who are in the food pantry line because Walmart pays substandard wages. How noble of Walmart to donate to this cause. Gives people the notion that Walmart is doing the community a service.

-- Posted by ithenana on Mon, Apr 26, 2010, at 5:37 AM

Walmart actually pays competitive wages as well as offering a benefit package. Have you checked this out or are you just spouting the the standard old Walmart hate drivel? No one is forced to work there, yet a large number of their employees have been there for years.

I do not like many things about Walmart, but they do provide significant support to many local agencies and charities. They also sell their products at reasonable prices.

-- Posted by ParkerDaws on Mon, Apr 26, 2010, at 9:17 AM

Ms. Miller,

I see that Walmart or the food bank failed to mention all of the food suppliers and companies who donated to the cause. It's safe to say that about 30%, if not more, of those donations came from other companies dealing with Walmart who took the financial hit on the donation.

Parker Daws,

Walmart does not pay competitive wages and they hold "secret" anti-union meetings. Walmart pays just enough to keep you from starting over, but not enough to survive. I can introduce you to a few current and former employees.

-- Posted by Chaka on Mon, Apr 26, 2010, at 5:15 PM

Substandard wages? The source of your information is lying to you; I wouldn't trust them because they are probably lying to you on a bunch of other stuff, too. Now, Walmart will seldom be accused of overpaying their employees...

-- Posted by bobby62914 on Mon, Apr 26, 2010, at 6:23 PM

Well I guess those meetings aren't too "secret" if you know about them. All employers want to avoid unionization - no big deal there. Just like most companies want to make a profit.

And, if Walmart doesn't pay employees enough to survive, then I guess they have a lot of openings, when those employees die off when they can't "survive." Read your statement over a few times and see if it makes any sense.

-- Posted by ParkerDaws on Tue, Apr 27, 2010, at 12:18 PM

Wal-Mart wages are not very good. But they are definitely not "substandard" for their industry. Most locally owned retail stores give employees wages and benefits below the level of Wal-Mart.

Retail is just an all around lousy industry to go into as a low level employee. A handful of rare exceptions do exist (ala Costco), but Wal-Mart is actually a slight step up from the average retail sector employer.

-- Posted by Nil on Tue, Apr 27, 2010, at 1:24 PM

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Melissa Miller
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