Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and PepsiCo will collectively donate water to meet the daily needs of more than 10,000 school children in Flint, Mich. for the remainder of 2016, the companies announced today. That translates to 176 truckloads, or up to 6.5 million bottles of water, to help with relief efforts for those affected by the Flint water crisis.

Flint has been dealing with a water crisis for the last 19 months. In 2014, Flint left the Detroit water system to save money and began pumping water from the Flint River to residents for drinking, cooking and bathing. After the switch, Flint residents and independent researchers indicated increasing levels of lead in the water, which made it unusable and undrinkable. The city recently returned to the City of Detroit water system for its water supply, but because of aging pipes lead is still detected and the water is still unusable.

“The water crisis is personal to us here in Flint. Those affected include our own associates, customers and their families,” said Beth Harris, Walmart store manager in Flint. “Our associates are proud to be a part of the effort to help our friends and neighbors.”

Walmart has already donated 14 trucks of water, or 504,000 bottles, and 1,792 water filters to the Flint community since July 2015.

“We are committed to supporting Walmart and other groups in water relief efforts for the Flint community,” said Lori George Billingsley, vice president of Community Relations, Coca-Cola North America. “This critical initiative to provide bottled water to the two Flint school districts builds on our heritage of supporting disaster relief work around the world. Since 2014, we have donated bottled water, volunteer hours and supported our employees in the affected area and will continue to look for ways to help meet the community’s needs.”

Kathtleen McLaughlin (left), president, Walmart Foundation; Lori George Billingsley, VP of community relations, Coca-Cola North America; Sheldon Neeley, Michigan State Representative; and Felicia Wasson, PAC director, Coca-Cola Refreshments.


“Rooted in our 129 year history is a deep commitment to supporting our local community,” said Matt Barribeau, Michigan Market Unit General Manager, Coca-Cola Refreshments. “I’m proud of the work we have been doing in Flint since 2014 – from donating 78,720 bottles of water to coordinating with local community groups on logistics and transportation. On Feb. 3, we will host a Coca-Cola Day of Service with our community partners Food Bank of East Michigan and Mission of Hope Ministries. We will welcome our Coca-Cola associates from neighboring states to join the Food Bank of East Michigan to assist Flint residents.”

In addition to the water donation, the companies are encouraging others to support the Flint community by working with Good360, where nonprofits operating in Flint are listing their needs online. Walmart and its suppliers will continue to work closely in the Flint community and are encouraging the public to get involved by visiting to make donations that will go directly to local nonprofits serving the community.

“We are grateful for Walmart and their suppliers' support during this crisis,” said Bilal Tawwab, Flint Community Schools Superintendent. “With their generous support, District students will have access to clean drinking water, and more importantly, the ability to focus on their education.”