Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and PepsiCo have announced they will collectively donate water to meet the daily needs of more than 10,000 school children in Flint, Mich., for the balance of the calendar year. That translates to 176 truckloads—or up to 6.5 million bottles—of water.
In April 2014, Flint stopped drawing its water from Detroit and began pulling water from the Flint River, according to the The Washington Post. Residents soon began complaining that the water smelled or was discolored. Researchers found elevated levels of lead in Flint’s water supply and reported that blood tests revealed that lead contamination had nearly doubled and tripled in children younger than 5 who were exposed to the highest lead levels. In October 2015, Flint again began getting water from Detroit but, by that time, some residents had been drinking the water for 19 months.
Walmart has already donated 14 trucks of water—or 504,000 bottles—and 1,792 water filters to the Flint community since July 2015. Coca-Cola has donated nearly 78,720 bottles of Dasani to local food banks and foundations and to approximately 40 associates living in the affected area. Nestlé Waters North America has already donated five truckloads—or more than 190,000 bottles—to Flint community organizations since October 2015. PepsiCo has donated almost 95,000 bottles of water to Flint and the families of the company’s employees over the past four months.
“PepsiCo believes that access to safe water is a basic human right,” said Tony West, executive vice president, PepsiCo Government Affairs. “We are committed to supporting the communities where we operate, and our collective action today will allow Flint school children and their parents to focus on their education rather than where they can find clean water.”
The Washington Post article