CLAIM

Texting the word 'HUNGER' to 35350 will cause Sam's Club to donate the monetary equivalent of 12 meals to a local food bank.
See Example( s )

EXAMPLES
Collected via e-mail, March 2015

I seen a post on Face book stating if you text the word "HUNGER" to 35350, Sam's Club would donate 12 meals to a local to you food bank. Once you sent the text you would receive a return text asking for your zip code to find a local food bank.
OUTDATED

RATING

OUTDATED

WHAT'S TRUE

For a limited time, texting the word 'MEALS' to 35350 will prompt General Mills to donate the monetary equivalent of 12 meals to a local food bank.

WHAT'S FALSE

Texting the word 'HUNGER' to 35350 no longer produces any positive result.

ORIGIN

In March 2015 a message began to circulate on social media sites claiming that texting the word “HUNGER” to the number 35350 would prompt the Sam’s Club chain of membership-only retail warehouse stores to donate meals to local food banks. According to several versions of the claim, each donation would provide twelve meals to a nearby food pantry once a donor’s location was confirmed.

A few aspects of the “text HUNGER to 35350” campaign gave potential donors pause, however. For one thing, Facebook and Twitter pages maintained by Sam’s Club didn’t prominently publish any material confirming the campaign around the time it became popular in March 2015. Users who posted to the retailer’s Facebook wall to inquire about the legitimacy of the campaign were directed to a website prompting them to enter barcodes from General Mills products to generate donations under a program called “Outnumber Hunger”:

Hi, here is a link that may help you

http://www.outnumberhunger.com/samsclub/

On that page, information about a separate (and not clearly linked) aspect of the campaign was published:

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CODES? *For every code you enter by January 31, 2016, General Mills will donate $1.20 to Feeding America — enough to secure 12 meals on behalf of local food banks. Maximum total donation to Feeding America from General Mills in conjunction with Sam’s Club’s promotions is up to $225,000, based on online code entry and other consumer actions through General Mills promotions with Sam’s Club. Look for ways to trigger donations at OutnumberHunger.com/SamsClub.

Although the blurb confirmed a Sam’s Club campaign was slated to continue until 31 January 2016 (or until a $225,000 donation cap was reached), no mention of text-triggered donations was included. A Facebook link at the top of that page led to an Outnumber Hunger campaign page that hadn’t been updated for several months, which a number of Facebook members used to inquire about the legitimacy of the 35350 donation message.

Outnumber Hunger referenced another page, Feeding America, in their “about” section. On that page, a status update dated 4 March 2015 explained:

For every code from a participating product you enter online at http://www.outnumberhunger.com/samsclub by January 31, 2016, General Mills will donate 1.20 to Feeding America — enough to secure 12 meals on behalf of local food banks. Maximum total donation to Feeding America from General Mills in conjunction with Sam’s Club’s promotion is up to $225,000, based on online code entry, text and other consumer actions through General Mills promotions with Sam’s Club. To text your code, text HUNGER to 35350 by March 31, 2015.

You will receive one (1) text reply which will confirm receipt and ask for your zip code so that the donation may be made on behalf of your local food bank. If you do not respond with your zip code via text, your donation will be made on behalf of food banks on a national level. If you respond via text with your zip code, you will receive one (1) text reply confirming receipt of your zip code. If you text a misspelled word or no food banks are near your zip code, you will receive an error reply via text.

Maximum total donation to Feeding America from General Mills in conjunction with this text promotion is up to $80,000, subject to General Mills overall maximum donation of up to $225,000 in connection with Sam’s Club’s Outnumber Hunger promotions. Limit one (1) code sent via text per phone number. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Must be 18+ to send text. Subject to General Mills privacy policy at www.OutnumberHunger.com/SamsClub. Look for ways to trigger donations at OutnumberHunger.com/SamsClub.

According to the status update, texts would generate a donation to local or national food banks until 31 March 2015 (or until a cap of $225,000 was reached). If the fundraising maximum wasn’t met by that date, General Mills customers would be given until January 2016 to trigger donations by submitting bar codes from purchased products. However, by 12 March 2015 Sam’s Club had reached the stated cap for text-based donations, so texts sent to 35350 after that date no longer triggered food bank contributions.

The “Sam’s Club Meals from Members Program” is active this year between until 31 March 2017, activated by texting the word ‘MEALS’ (not ‘HUNGER’) to 35350. Each text (one per person) will prompt the donation of $1.08 to Feeding America by General Mills, an amount considered to be the equivalent of twelve meals at local food banks, until either the cutoff date or the maximum donation level of $150,000 has been reached:

Program begins on February 28, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on
March 31, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET or when the maximum donation amount of $150,000 has been
met, whichever comes first (the “Program Period”). Administrator’s computer is the official timekeeping
device for the Program.

Send Text Message: During the Program Period, using a two-way text-messaging capable
device (“Device”), text the keyword “MEALS” to 35350 and General Mills will donate $1.08 to
Feeding America — enough to secure twelve (12) meals on behalf of local food banks. Maximum
total donation from General Mills to Feeding America in conjunction with this Program is up to
$150,000, which is part of the overall maximum donation of $225,000 in connection with General
Mills’ participation in the Program. By participating in this Program, you will receive up to
two (2) text messages in response to your text from an automated system. Consent is not
required to buy goods and services. You will receive one (1) text reply which will confirm receipt
and ask for your zip code so that the donation may be made on behalf of your local food bank. If
you do not respond with your zip code via text or if you text a misspelled word, non-existent zip
code or if a food bank is not located near your zip code, your donation will be made on behalf of
food banks on a national level. If you respond via text with your zip code, you will receive one (1)
text reply confirming receipt of your zip code. The Program is free (the donation comes from
Sponsor), but message and data rates may apply from your carrier. Check your mobile plan
and contact your mobile carrier for details. You are responsible for obtaining and maintaining all
mobile devices and other equipment and software, and all internet service provider, mobile
service, and other services needed to access and participate in the Program, and you are solely
responsible for all charges related to them, including charges from your mobile carrier.