Money in the Food Bank

As a member of Alpha Phi Delta fraternity at YSU, we pride ourselves on giving back to our community in any way we can.

So naturally, what a proud day it was to hear that Second Harvest Food Bank, APD’s official national philanthropy, was poised to win $1 million as part of WalMart’s Fight Hunger in Your Town campaign.

Several of my fraternity brothers attended the promotional event early this week to support the project.

We know that this is an opportunity to expand our philanthropic reach and place the city of Youngstown in a good light for a change.

It is even more encouraging to know that my brothers and I are not alone in support of Second Harvest Food Bank; Youngstown-Warren is currently in first place in the quest to bring $1 million back to the city.

Consumers in Youngstown have been buying select products and visiting WalMart’s Facebook page to vote for their community.

It is officially crunch time, and hopefully Youngstown residents continue to buy these items knowing it directly supports their struggling town.

Junior Courtney Gobel is proud that her city is being proactive and banning together.

“I’m really glad that Youngstown is stepping it up,” she said. “We all hear negative things on the news, and this will help our image by coming together as a community.”

Our success in the Fight Hunger in Your Town project certainly will bolster Youngstown’s negative image.

Typically, I avoid supporting anything WalMart endorses for two reasons:

First, WalMart tramples traditional “mom n’ pop” stores with their low prices. The only hope for stores like these is to get their products on WalMart’s shelves, and that can be extremely challenging.

Second, though union efforts have increased recently in the fight against low wages and poor benefits, WalMart is such a monopoly that when a branch misbehaves, they just close it down or hire new staff.

These things tell me that WalMart doesn’t care about anything but WalMart.

But, the Fight Hunger in Your Town initiative certainly portrays WalMart as a superhero in the fight against poverty and hunger, and I must give them my support and encourage more initiatives like it.

Last year, WalMart enacted a campaign to lower sodium and sugar in their house brand items and to eliminate a cost premium on healthy alternatives like whole grains.

Michelle Obama, who somehow gained authority over nutrition in America, endorsed WalMart for its healthy improvements.

Maybe WalMart is turning a new leaf and finally giving back as much as they get.

Youngstown is only around a thousand and a half votes ahead of Johnson City, Tennessee, so we all need to continue the conscious effort of buying select products at WalMart.

If you’re looking to help, you can do so here.

Either way, it seems more than likely that Youngstown will at least receive the $50,000 consolation prize that is awarded to the top 20 cities.

Way to go, Youngstown, and for the first time, way to go, WalMart.