The partnership is a collaboration between the LeBron James Family Foundation and Walmart’s “Fight Hunger, Spark Change” initiative, which raises money to provide meals for families based on purchases of items from participating companies such as Campbell’s Soup and General Mills. “Fight Hunger, Spark Change” has raised more than $74 million and provided nearly 1 billion meals since 2014 through its nonprofit partner, Feeding America.
“Growing up in Akron, the whole city supported my dreams, supported my friends’ dreams,” James said regarding the partnership. “They gave us shelter. Gave us food. We always felt like we had that support. Partnering with Walmart is about the commitment to the community. Walmart has done so many great things all over the world, but it starts in their hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. Same as me starting in my hometown of Akron, Ohio. We don’t forget where we come from.”
James is raising awareness for the campaign by providing a curated list of items he relied on during his childhood, with all purchases generating donations for “Fight Hunger, Spark Change.” In addition, Walmart will help maintain a pantry full of food, toiletries and other supplies at James’ “I Promise School” in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, a public school for at-risk students.
The Los Angeles Lakers star will also participate in Walmart’s “Back to School” campaign later this year.
“What we hope to accomplish together with LeBron is to magnify each other’s efforts. We would love to help this model that he’s creating lead to a situation where it could help even more people,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a video about the joint initiative.