PARKERSBURG - The City of Parkersburg will receive a $50,000 grant through Wal-Mart's Fight Hunger Together Facebook campaign.
Voters flocked to Facebook during the month of April to vote for their city of choice, out of the top 200 cities in the nation with the highest unemployment rates, identified by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Parkersburg/ Vienna metropolitan area received around 7,000 votes and took ninth place in the top 20 finalists.
"I'm ecstatic. Our community really came together to show their support," said Kevin Ohse, manager of Wal-Mart in Parkersburg. "This money will do a lot of good."
Each top 20 finalist city will receive a $50,000 grant, which will be used locally to fight hunger. The winner of the campaign, Youngstown, Ohio, will receive a $1 million grant.
Individuals could vote every 24 hours from April 9 to April 30. During the campaign, a total of 396,000 votes were cast for the 200 cities, according to a press release from the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Other top 20 finalist cities included Toledo, Ohio, Johnson City, Tenn., El Paso, Texas, Fresno, Calif., and Danville, Va.
During the campaign, Wal-Marts in Parkersburg and Vienna also held a food drive to support Old Man Rivers Mission.
"We did everything we could to get the word out. We hung banners, passed out fliers, went to the news media," said Ohse. "During the beginning of the campaign, we were back pretty far on the list, but we managed to creep up to the top."
"We want to thank everyone who contributed to the fight against hunger this month, particularly the thousands who voted and shared the campaign with their friends on Facebook," said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation, in a press release.
"We hope the increased awareness will positively impact food banks and hunger nonprofits across the nation as they continue to help the one in six Americans who at some point this year will be uncertain where their next meal comes from."