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Wal-Mart awards $580K to 14 Florida nonprofits

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Wal-Mart announced Thursday that 14 Florida nonprofits will get a combined $580,000 in grants from the retailer.

The grants ranged from $25,000 to $90,000 for each organization for projects ranging from an all-access playground i wall n Brevard County to a STEM education program in Naples. The list also included bay-area nonprofit Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay, which will get a $25,000 grant for a nutrition program for its low- to moderate-income participants.

Wal-Mart’s North Florida regional general manager Jeff Caples said the grants are part of the company’s “mission is to create opportunities so people can live better.”

“It’s through grants such as these, in-kind donations from our stores and the countless hours our associates perform across the state that we are able to do just that,” Caples said.

The grants are headed to organizations stretching from Pensacola to Miami and are part of the Wal-Mart Foundation’s State Giving Program. Nonprofits with tax-exempt status can apply for grants from the Arkansas-based retailer through the Wal-Mart Foundation website.

In May, the Wal-Mart Foundation kicked off its “State Giving Tour” by announcing $225,000 in grants for five Florida nonprofits. In that announcement the mega retailer said it would give $1 million in grants to more than 20 Florida nonprofits.

The company has ramped up charitable efforts over the past few years. In 2010, Wal-Mart announced it would give $2 billion though grants and in-kind donations to fight hunger in the U.S. over the next five years. By 2014 the company had already delivered on that commitment, which included donating 1.1 billion meals to needy Americans.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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