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A Walmart commercial suggests that they have given away 325 million pounds of food last year.  The ad further suggests that this value is more significant than Target, Whole Foods, even The Red Cross.  As if Walmart could be a more offensive company, The Red Cross.

So, ignoring the dig at the Red Crosss, how much food would this actually provide.  in my city the food bank receives 73 million pounds of food a year and provides about 50 million meals.  Scaling up to 325 million pounds of food we will have around 225 million meals.  So, on a nationwide basis the Walmart donation provide an average of two thirds of a meal per person per year in the US.

So let's look at this as a percentage of sales of food at Walmart.  To be generous, let us say that this food is sold for $3 a pound.  This would mean the value of the food, rounded off, is $1 billion dollars.  Reports suggest that Walmart sells in excess of $200 billion of food a year.  So, using our generous numbers, that donation would represent one half of one percent of sales. Comparing this to profits would be difficult since we don't know what kind of tax deductions they get for making these donations.

Finally lets look at per store donations.  Walmart has approximately 3200 stores. This would lead us to believe that, on average, a store donates about 100,000 pounds of food a year, or, in general numbers, 275 pounds a day per store.

I don't think there is a problem with Walmart spending millions on advertising that they donate 325 million pounds of food, unless one is a christian that believes charity is something one does privately. I don't think there is a problem with Walmart subtly taking a stab at Target and Whole Foods, although I have not seen Walmart advertising initiatives to give money to the local community in the way that Target adn Whole Foods does.

But I think we can all agree that bringing the Red Cross into their sleazy advertising campaign gives everyone yet another reason to not make Walmart their primary shopping destination.

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