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Walmart donates $2.5 million to hurricane relief

Walmart announced it will donate $2.5 million to assist with relief efforts related to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, which swept through Louisiana and Texas recently.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer’s commitment -- a combination of cash and merchandise donations -- will support such organizations as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Feeding America, the Texas Disaster Relief Fund and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

“At Walmart, we work hard to provide support to the communities we serve when they need it most,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Given the magnitude and the devastation caused by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, it is important that we intensify our relief efforts and help those who have been affected.”

The Walmart Foundation has also allocated more than $2 million in grants to help store associates who have sustained damage to their homes. And the company committed three tractor-trailers and drivers to assist in delivering relief supplies to affected areas.

In addition, many individual Walmart stores were contributing to the cause by donating ice and water to citizens; bug spray and flashlights to police officers, firefighters and National Guardsmen; blankets and bedding to area shelters; and towels to rescue workers pulling people out of flood waters, Walmart spokesman Dan Fogleman told Home Channel News.

“We have learned from experience the power of developing great public-private relationships,” Fogleman said.