Walmart is taking part in a national effort to end childhood hunger in the U.S. by supporting an in-store educational initiative called "Shopping Matters." A key component of the "No Kid Hungry" campaign launched by the nonprofit Share Our Strength and ConAgra, the program consists of interactive grocery store tours that teach participants how to make smarter choices in-store and get more "nutritional bang for their buck." The tours are lead by nutritional and culinary experts who show shoppers how to compare food labels and unit prices. The volunteers also help them identify cost effective ways to increase their families' intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. According to Supermarket News, nearly 2,000 shoppers have participated in more than 400 store tours as of last October. The "Shopping Matters" tours may be especially useful for low-income families because 85% of low-income families consider the cost of healthy foods to be the primary obstacle to making healthful meals, according to a survey released by Share Our Strength.
Walmart's reputation of being motivated by profit without regard for the little guy is being challenged by the retailer's support of this cause. And what a cause it is. It's relevant, local and timely and supports Walmart's efforts to be a "Store of the Community." In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a cause that Walmart is better-suited to support. It brings shoppers into the store and trains them to become familiar and comfortable with the store. Finally, the tours meet a real need to educate low-income shoppers from local neighborhoods rather than halfway around the world. Consider investing in a cause marketing initiative. There are many needs to be met in this world, so redouble your efforts to find causes that fit your brand and product category as well as the store tours fit Walmart.