Lowell, ARK. – United Way of Northwest Arkansas’ Gift in Kind Warehouse is one of a kind. One of the largest Gift in Kind Warehouses in the country, United Way NWA connects millions of dollars of donated product to local nonprofit agencies and regional second harvest food banks. Through this innovative program, over 120 nonprofit agencies who serve children and families in need access the warehouse weekly for critical basic need products such as paper goods, personal hygiene items, diapers, cleaning supplies, houseware items and much more. These basic need items are not available for families through the SNAP food program, leaving families unable to purchase for their families.
The United Way Gift in Kind Warehouse program and service to our community would not be possible without our corporate partner: Walmart. This mutually beneficial partnership allows Walmart to take vendor products that have been returned, have a slight defect, or are marked by vendors to donate, and distribute the product instead of sending to a landfill – supporting their sustainability efforts.
In the last year, United Way NWA distributed record volume of product to community partners. Since the third quarter of 2014, United Way NWA’s Warehouse has seen a growth trend of 73% increase in product distributed to Northwest Arkansas and surrounding communities in need. From July 2014-June 2015 (United Way’s fiscal year), the Warehouse pushed $23,720,900 worth of product back into our community and surrounding communities in need.
These numbers are significant, because it means that the over 120 nonprofit partner agencies who shop at the Gift in Kind Warehouse benefit. Each visit, an agency receives an average of about $600 worth of product. If an agency shops once per month, they receive an average of $7,200 in product in a year. As the number of donated product increases, the amount of product that each agency can take home grows, meaning a great impact on individuals and families in need in the Northwest Arkansas community!