LAYTON — Retail giant Walmart was out painting a food bank Saturday, just one aspect of the global behemoth’s community service outreach.
The Family Connection Center was the recipient of the goodwill as some 30 Walmart employees, associates as they are called, turned out at 8 a.m. Saturday to paint the center’s food bank.
It amounted to about $1,000 worth of paint and materials, said Ryan Hess, manager of the nearby Layton Walmart Neighborhood store, who coordinated the effort.
“We went down there and asked what we might do to help out,” Hess said.
Center director Gene Lopez said a coat of paint would be nice, plus some help this fall with the center’s plan to donate a backpack of food and sundries to Davis County homeless veterans.
After Saturday’s four-hour session painting about 3,000 square feet of wall, Hess said associates raised another $2,000 for the backpacks.
“Those are the folks who keep us operating with some level of freedom,” he said.
In all, the paint job amount to about 100-plus hours of donated time for those involved including prep time during the week leading up to Saturday, Hess said.
Is he surprised more corporate heavies don’t take a hint from Walmart’s charity?
“I couldn’t really tell you anything about that,” he said. “It’s just always been our philosophy to give back to the community.”
Other Top of Utah Walmart employees joined in running events for charity on Friday night, Hess noted.
For more than three years, the Family Connection Center also has benefited from twice-weekly donations from Hess’ store of dented canned goods and excess meat and produce, he said, part of Walmart’s Feeding America Program.
“When you’re talking about business and our everyday low-cost philosophy, that’s just one aspect of being strong commercially,” Hess said. “A second part is you have to be active in the community where your stores are. It’s the right thing to do.”
In 2011, he said, Walmart made $1.1 million in donations to food banks in Utah.
This year, C & R Lighting and Diamond Rental also donated three scissor-lift ladder units for the painters as well, Hess said.
It took about 25 gallons of paint to turn the family center a nice, fresh tan hue.
“They picked out the color,” Hess said. “I think it’s kind of a brownish-peach.”