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Walmart fights children's malnutrition

China Daily, January 14, 2017 Adjust font size:

Volunteers from Walmart participate in activities with children in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. Provided to China Daily

School kitchens will be built plus milk and eggs will be given to poverty-stricken kids

Walmart Inc donated 2.65 million yuan ($382,175) it has raised from its staff, suppliers and customers to a Chinese foundation in early January, aiming to enhance the nutritional conditions of more students living in poor areas.

The pledge to the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation is projected to help about 5,000 children to improve their physical growth, said the company.

Tang Min, executive vice-president of the YouChange China Social Entrepreneur Foundation, said Walmart's long-term endeavors and innovative methods in public charity have had a positive impact on alleviating poverty in China.

Fu Xiaoming, senior vice-president in charge of corporate affairs at Walmart China, said: "We look forward to working with nonprofit organizations and partners who share similar charitable goals with us to promote social responsibility (in 2017), in order to produce more synergies and help Chinese people live a better life."

The donation was raised by Walmart, together with its suppliers, customers, CFFPA and Tencent at a charity event last October, with a goal to provide a carton of milk and an egg to schoolchildren in poverty-stricken regions, and to build modern kitchens.

Funding from customers nationwide exceeded 1.052 million yuan, accounting for 39.7 percent of the total.

Data show that some Chinese children still suffer from malnutrition.

In 2015, 9 percent of Chinese young people were thinner than the standard level, and 5 percent of children aged between 6 and 11 suffered from anemia, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Director of UN Women China Office Julie Broussard said she believes that enterprises have a very crucial role to play in both poverty alleviation and the empowerment of women.

This was the Walmart's latest effort on the improvement of the nutritional conditions and healthy growth of children in China.

Prior to this, donations from Walmart China and its suppliers have been used to provide 1.3 million meals to around 5,000 students in elementary schools in Yunnan, Guizhou, Hunan, Guangxi and Hebei, and set up kitchens for 10 schools benefiting 1,700 students, according to the company.

Walmart China also briefed on its strategic priorities for corporate social responsibility in 2017. These will focus on three main fields: women's economic empowerment, children's food safety & nutrition, and sustainability and community. For instance, it is planning to invest $250 million in food security research in the next five years in the country.

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