Walmart provided 16 million pounds of food to food banks across Indiana this year, at a time when food insecurity reached record highs and lines to local food pantries stretched down the street.
The Arkansas-based retail giant, which has Northwest Indiana locations in Schererville, Hammond, Hobart, Valparaiso, Portage, Michigan City, LaPorte and Rensselaer, also is contributing $12 million to Feeding America at a time when one in six people are at risk of hunger because of the coronavirus pandemic, up from one in nine before the global outbreak as a result of job losses, reduced hours, and decreased income.
Walmart stores, distribution centers and Sam's Clubs — including the one in Hobart across from the Southlake Mall — have been encouraged to donate products and funds to hunger relief through the end of the year.
“Giving is part of our DNA at Walmart and we are proud of the work we have done to give back to Hoosiers all year long,” Walmart Greenwood Store Manager John Frangello said. “It’s wonderful to see the local impact."
Thus far this year, Walmart and its nonprofit philanthropic arm the Walmart Foundation have donated more than 480 million pounds of food and $55 million in grants to more than 5,000 hunger relief groups nationwide. Walmart and Sam's Clubs members also have contributed another $18 million toward hunger relief.
Region stores that closed in 2020
Region stores that closed in 2020
The brick-and-mortar retail sector has been struggling because of competition with e-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, Wayfair, Chewy and Zappos. But 2020 presented unprecedented challenges because of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns and restrictions. Here's a look at stores in the Region that closed, announced they would close, filed for bankruptcy or were saved from closure in 2020:
Art Van Furniture to close all stores, including in Hobart and Portage.
Family Video, the Glenview, Illinois-based company that's now the largest video store chain left in the United States, is closing 200 locations across the country this month, including in Dyer and Valparaiso.
Bed Bath & Beyond plans to close its locations in Hobart and Orland Park before the end of the year.
The Kmart in Valparaiso, the last one left in Northwest Indiana, has closed.
The Express clothing store closed Sunday in River Oaks Center in Calumet City.
The long-running family-owned jewelry store chain opened an outpost in the super-regional Southlake Mall in 2012.
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Carson's, the iconic Midwestern department store chain that has been run out of Merrillville as an e-commerce site since it collapsed into bankruptcy in 2018, closed its only remaining brick-and-mortar store in Evergreen Park, Illinois.
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The bankruptcy could deliver a big blow to the Southlake Mall and Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets.
The California-based retailer plans to keep open its stores, including its Hobart location at 2108 E 80th Ave. The musical superstore across from the Southlake Mall has long been a destination for musicians from across Northwest Indiana.
JC Penney, which already had filed for bankruptcy and announced it was shuttering 230 stores nationwide, said it would close its Calumet City department store at 200 River Oaks Drive. The troubled retailer is shuttering 154 stores this summer and plans to announce another wave of closures in the next few weeks.
The J.C. Penney at River Oaks Center has been spared from a previously announced closure as the troubled retailer works through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
A longtime customer is buying the Brumm's Bloomin' Barn florist and gift shop in Highland, which will become Bloomin' Barn next year.
Piper Boutiques is closing after 37 years in Valpo, while businesses across Northwest Indiana are limping on and looking for the public's support while still offering freebies for health care workers and first responders.
Macy's won't say whether its stores at the Southlake Mall and River Oaks Center will make the cut.
Pier 1 Imports filed for bankruptcy as it holds liquidation sales at its stores in Hobart and Valparaiso.