Walmart gives to Wind Youth Services to feed homeless teens

As ordinance controversy heats up, The Walton Family Foundation gives to hungry children

Is it considered “biting the hand that feeds” if we provide a little context for Walmart's $25,000 grant to Wind Youth Services to feed homeless teens, which was announced this past Tuesday?

Sacramento city planners are looking into lifting the big-box ordinance that bans superstores such as Walmart within city limits. Proposed amendments are due Tuesday, August 20, to the Sacramento City Council to limit superstore applications to “certain older neighborhoods” and eliminate wage and benefit analysis requirements. Given the tenor of dialogue at City Hall, the ban could be on the way out.

This shouldn't come as a surprise, given findings by The Sacramento Bee earlier this summer: Since 2011, Walmart and The Walton Family Foundation (the charity funded by the family that owns Walmart) have meted out almost $800,000 in “behests,” or charitable donations, to nonprofit causes championed by Mayor Kevin Johnson and city council members like Jay Schenirer, who actually solicited donations while voicing support for changes to the big-box ordinance.

That's not to say that local community members don't have a stake in both Walmart and local charities. Franklin Jackson, store manager for the Natomas Walmart on Truxel Road, sits on the board of directors for Wind Youth Services, for instance.

But anything Walmart does in and around Sacramento during the ordinance discussion should surely be worth noting, and a big-money grant to needy kids is no exception.