Walmart hits charitable giving milestone By Megan Workman May 1, 2013 CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Wal-Mart donated more than $8 million to West Virginia charities last year and more than $1 billion nationally, which makes it the first time any U.S. retailer has reached that level of giving. Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind contributions, mostly food, to low-income families and those affected by disasters during fiscal year 2013. Wal-Mart is the first retailer in the nation to give more than $1 billion in a fiscal year. Its contributions include more than 351 million meals to food banks through Feeding America, providing grants to nonprofit partners that gave 265 small-business loans, and offering training to 3,600 small-business owners. The state's largest employer since 1998, Wal-Mart has donated more than $8 million to nonprofits including the Huntington Area Food Bank and the Mountaineer Food Bank. In all, Wal-Mart gave 4 million pounds of food to state food banks. In 2010, Wal-Mart announced a $2 billion commitment of cash and in-kind gifts to hunger relief organizations in the country. "On behalf of our 11,500 employees in West Virginia, Wal-Mart is extremely proud to have given back more than $1 billion for the first time last year, including $8 million to West Virginia charitable and community organizations," Wal-Mart Vice President and Regional General Manager Kate Mora said in a news release. "We are making a big difference with regard to a number of areas including fighting hunger, supporting veterans issues and promoting environmental sustainability." Reach Megan Workman at email@example.com or 304-348-5113.