Walmart and Sam’s Club Fight Hunger. Spark Change Campaign Returns to East Texas to Help People Facing Hunger

Everyone needs nutritious food to thrive, and in every community in America, people are working hard to provide for themselves and their families. Yet in 2022, 44 million people—1 in 7 people—faced food insecurity in the U.S.

Those are the highest numbers in a decade, underscoring the need for more charitable food assistance in East Texas and beyond.

Now, for the 11th straight year, all U.S. Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs are launching the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign, with the goal of providing people facing hunger with access to the food and resources they say they need to thrive. Since its inception in 2014, the campaign has generated more than $186 million and helped secure nearly 1.9 billion meals* for the Feeding America® network of local food banks.

“We are thrilled to partner once again with Walmart and Sam’s Clubs for this incredible campaign,” said David Emerson, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “ETFB continues to see many East Texans who need a helping hand. One dollar equals five meals for our food bank so every dollar makes a difference in our community in fighting hunger.”

The campaign will run in stores and online from April 1-April 29, with three ways for shoppers to participate:

  • By donating at check-out in stores or clubs or round up at and the Walmart app.
  • By purchasing participating products in-store or online at or For every purchase of a participating product, the supplier will donate the monetary equivalent of at least one meal ($0.10) on behalf of a Feeding America partner food bank at Walmart and five meals ($0.50) at Sam’s Club, up to applicable limits. See specially marked packages for full details.
  • By donating at Feeding America’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign donation site at either or

“Serving communities and expanding access to affordable, healthy food lies at the heart of Walmart and Sam’s Club’s purpose to help people live better,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart and President, Walmart Foundation. “Our annual Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign is a way that we invite our customers, members and suppliers to fight hunger alongside us. The funds raised through this campaign go toward local Feeding America food banks, meaning we can all make a difference in our own neighborhoods.”

The 20 participating suppliers for Walmart include: Bush Brothers & Company; CELSIUS® Essential Energy Drink; The Coca-Cola Company; Conagra Brands; Dole Packaged Foods; Ferrara; Ferrero; General Mills; Hain Celestial; Hershey Salty Snacks; Hidden Valley Ranch; Kellanova; W.K. Kellogg Company; Keurig Dr Pepper; Kodiak; Kraft Heinz; Monster Energy; Pepsi-Cola Advertising & Marketing, Inc.; Unilever

The 8 participating suppliers for Sam’s Club include: General Mills; W.K. Kellogg Company; Kraft Heinz; Nestlé; Nissin; Nongshim; Palmetto Gourmet Foods, A Borealis Foods Company; Unilever

East Texas Food Bank to offer new Mobile Pantry in Seven Points

The East Texas Food Bank (ETFB) will offer a new Mobile Pantry on the second Friday of every month with fresh produce in Seven Points located in Henderson County, near Cedar Creek Reservoir from 4-5:30 p.m., beginning March 8. The distribution will take place at the Lakeview Assembly of God located at 501 E. Cedar Creek Parkway.

“Henderson County has a great need for food assistance as almost 16% of the residents are food insecure according to the latest data from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap,” said David Emerson, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “Currently we help over 2,800 households in Henderson County. Studies show a direct link to good nutrition and health outcomes so the ability to offer more vegetables and fruits will greatly benefit the residents.”

The East Texas Food Bank currently has nine partner agencies in Henderson County that operate food pantries in Athens, Brownsboro, Chandler, Gun Barrel City, Malakoff, Murchison, and Tool. In fiscal year 2023, ETFB distributed in Henderson County 624,000 pounds of produce.

The drive-through Mobile Pantry is open to anyone needing food and there are no ID requirements.

East Texas Food Bank Receives Grant from Chick-fil-A

CFA Grant

The East Texas Food Bank (ETFB) has been named the recipient of a $125,000 grant through the annual Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards® program.

“This grant will help further ETFB’s efforts in the community of fighting hunger and feeding hope in the 26 counties we serve in East Texas,” said David Emerson, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “This will allow us to feed more East Texans through our mobile pantries, resource centers and programs for seniors and children.”

ETFB is one of 51 True Inspiration Awards grant recipients in 2024 that are receiving a collective $5.48 million from Chick-fil-A, Inc. To be selected for a grant, organizations must work to address key issues that align with Chick-fil-A’s corporate social responsibility priorities: Caring for People, Caring for Others through Food, Caring for our Communities and Caring for our Planet.
The True Inspiration Awards were established in 2015 to carry on Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy’s legacy of generosity and community service. Since that time, more than 300 grants, ranging from $30,000 to $350,000, have been distributed to organizations located across the North America, including Puerto Rico and Canada.

“Across the communities Chick-fil-A serves, we strive to have a positive impact, and we are honored to support local nonprofits that are truly making a difference in their neighborhoods,” said Brent Fielder, senior director of corporate social responsibility for Chick-fil-A, Inc. “This year’s True Inspiration Awards grant recipients are doing incredible work in their local communities – from feeding those in need to providing resources for military families to supporting the development of students and more. Chick-fil-A is thrilled to help further the impact of these nonprofits through our largest number of True Inspiration Awards to date.”

To see a full list of recipients and learn more about the Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards program, visit

About Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Chick-fil-A, Inc. is the third largest quick-service restaurant company in the United States, known for its freshly-prepared food, signature hospitality and unique franchise model. More than 200,000 Team Members are employed by independent owner-operators in more than 3,000 restaurants across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In 2023, the company shared plans to expand by 2030 into Europe and Asia.
Chick-fil-A owner-operators live and work in the communities their restaurants serve, each supporting local efforts to address hunger, education, and making a positive impact. The family-owned and privately held company was founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy. More information on Chick-fil-A is available at and @ChickfilANews

About the East Texas Food Bank
Established in 1988, the East Texas Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief nonprofit in East Texas covering 26 counties. ETFB provides over 27 million meals each year to 200 partner agencies and feeding programs. Our mission is to fight hunger and feed hope in East Texas. For more information, visit

The East Texas Food Bank to Open Tyler Resource Center and Pantry

Tyler Resource Center

The East Texas Food Bank (ETFB) will open this month the new Tyler Resource Center on the main campus as part of ETFB’s overall strategic plan to distribute more food and serve more people.

“The Tyler Resource Center will be located in close proximity to low-income neighborhoods, in a census tract where 34% of the population lives below the poverty line,” said David Emerson, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “This is the first time in our history to operate a food pantry onsite at our facility to help close the hunger gap.”

The Tyler Resource Center will include a “Healthy Food Pantry” to provide nutritious food through a neighbor-choice distribution model, as well as an access point for other services meant to help families reach self-sufficiency. The center will be open several days a week including some evenings and weekends to increase access. The Benefits Assistance Program will also be available to help clients apply for SNAP and other social service benefits.

“We currently estimate that ETFB will serve 500 Smith County households each week and provide 756,000 meals annually with our new Tyler Resource Center,” added Emerson.

“The food pantry is meant to serve households at or below the emergency food income guidelines,” said Kim Morris, ETFB Chief Impact Officer. “For example, a family of four would qualify to receive food if they make less than $55,500 per year. Other people who qualify to receive assistance are those experiencing a crisis such as a house fire, tornado, or extreme medical bills.”

According to “Map the Meal Gap,” an annual study conducted by Feeding America, an estimated 12.9% of Smith County residents are food insecure and at risk of hunger, including almost 17.7% of children.

“Every day we encounter new neighbors who have never stepped foot into a pantry asking for assistance,” added Morris. “We want East Texans to know that we are here for you and want to be a resource for food as well as other services.”

“For 35 years, ETFB has been a part of the Tyler community and we are excited to have this branch location to complement the services of our 24 pantry partners in Smith County,” added Emerson. “This location will be open extended hours including Friday afternoon and Saturday morning when our other partners are closed. We also want to invite other non-profit agencies to have a booth on pantry days so they can offer their services to our neighbors.”

The Tyler Resource Center along with other infrastructure represents a $9 million investment. Funding for these initiatives came from several generous grants including from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott and the American Rescue Plan Act. Several organizations and businesses have provided generous support to help fund the Tyler Resource Center including United Way of Smith County, Women’s Fund of Smith County, TransCanada USA Services Inc., Episcopal Health Foundation and Southside Bank.

The Tyler Resource Center will open in December. For more information on how you can volunteer, donate, hours of operation or to see if you qualify for food assistance, please visit

Whataburger selling ornaments, food drive on December 12th to benefit ETFB

Whataburger FD Post

Join participating Whataburger locations and help fight hunger in East Texas. From November 29th to December 12th, make a $1 ornament purchase and help provide meals for East Texas children, families and seniors who don’t know where their next meal will come from. On Tuesday. December 12th visit a participating location with two cans of nonperishable items and receive a free Whataburger from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Participating Whataburger locations include Tyler, Chapel Hill, Henderson, Kilgore, Liberty City, Gilmer, Lindale, Chandler, Mineola, Bullard, Whitehouse and Pittsburg.