Doing Good: Vendor Community Competes for Positive Change

Walmart and its vendor community are one of the most dominant economic drivers in our community. That community is also dedicated to making a difference for the better with a unique competition.

"The vendor community is a big part of what makes Northwest Arkansas successful," NWA Food Bank Director of Development Mike Williams shared. 

More than 70,000 people in our area do not know where their next meal will come from. That is a troubling statistic the Walmart Vendor community hopes to change with a timely competition to collect food donations.

"Anytime that community comes together in a drive like this to buy into the community to support the community, especially the needs of those who are food insecure in our region, everybody wins," Williams explained. 

Last year, Spectrum Brands created a food drive challenge amongst other vendors. And the winner gets the Spectrum Cup.

"We want to do good, but we just need the channel to do that," Spectrum Brands Vice President of Sales Daniel Boone said. "So we created this channel so more and more companies can can focus on helping the community."

There are now 17 vendors taking part. That is nearly double from the first year. For General mills, the competition starts with serving their core objective.

"Serve the world by making food that people love," General Mills Director of Sales Mary Zettle shared. "So food is at the heart of our mission and obviously the tie in with the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank is key to that."

Beyond impacting the community, Zettle pointed out the battle for the cup adds a valuable team-building component.

"You take a group of sales people and you ask them to compete and they're only so ready to join in," Zettle explained. "We have divided  up into 12 teams and randomly assigned and we set them loose."

"By doing this, we have a lot of fun," Boone said. "So we're helping the community. But at the same time, I'll tell you for Spectrum Brands, we're helping ourselves."

Of course, ultimately, it helps those who need it most.

"Food drives are a huge help, especially when companies come together like they have in the Spectrum Brands Corporate Food Drive Challenge," Williams shared. 

More than 17,000 pounds were collected in the competition's first year. In this second year, the bar is set quite a bit higher and it is expected the totals will shatter last year's numbers. Click here to learn more about the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.

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