In our communities around the world, there are families in poverty who are struggling to overcome the challenges of everyday life and meet their basic needs. We believe that by supporting organizations that work to improve access to food, clothing, shelter and healthcare and protecting children and families from domestic abuse, we can help more people meet their basic needs. We help fund and support non-profit organizations that are connected to their communities and committed to creating change in these areas. We have strong relationships with many charitable organizations across our geographies, including Save the Children, JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the U.S., the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the Sunshine Foundation and the Kids Help Phone in Canada, and Cancer Research U.K., Enable Ireland, Comic Relief, the Academy for the Future and Children For A Better World in Europe. With the addition of our newest brand, Trade Secret, we are pleased to welcome the Starlight Children’s Foundation as a community partner in Australia. We invite you to visit the Cause Marketing and Fundraising section of our website to learn more about our global retail brand initiatives.
In addition to these organizations, a key focus for us is hunger relief. We are committed to the fight against hunger and believe that access to healthy food is essential for a comfortable life. In the U.S., we have been long-time supporters of local food banks. Throughout the year, Associates from our home offices, distribution centers and stores donate supplies to food drives and volunteer their personal time to hunger-relief organizations in communities across the U.S. For example, Associates from 16 Marshalls stores in the Dallas, Texas area volunteered at the North Texas Food Bank. The Food Bank had received a grant from The TJX Foundation and our Associates were able to make an even greater impact on the organization by volunteering to prepare 23 pallets of food – the equivalent of over 24,000 meals - which were delivered to hunger-relief organizations throughout Northern Texas.
In 2015, we are very pleased to report that in addition to our ongoing efforts, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods teamed up to help combat hunger by raising money for food bank organizations across the U.S. Thanks to the generosity of our customers who made in-store donations, together with a donation from The TJX Foundation, $2 million was donated to more than 300 food organizations throughout the country. As a result, almost 12 million meals were served to nearly 4 million people in communities around the country.
Our focus on fighting hunger extends beyond the U.S. In Canada, through our support of the Canadian Women’s Foundation and our Shop for Hope decal program and product sales, we raise funds to help support approximately 450 shelters which provide food and shelter to more than 30,000 women and children in Canada. In Germany, we support Children for a Better World, a charity that provides children with healthy food and school lunches so that they can focus on their school work, thereby helping them to achieve their full potential. Since 2010, our fundraising efforts and sales of Bags for Life, Christmas products and Christmas cards have provided funding through Children for a Better World for approximately 250,000 meals for disadvantaged children.
Our Associates are actively engaged in supporting other causes as well. Activities that may have started as smaller, localized efforts have now grown into more substantial campaigns that occur in many locations across the country. For example, our U.S. Loss Prevention group leads Associate participation in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks that occur throughout the country each fall. In 2015, this group rallied together 135 teams in 29 states, with approximately 2,500 Associates, family members and friends. Cumulatively, the teams have raised over $1 million in funding for breast cancer research and support over the past six years!
Across the U.S. and Canada, we support organizations that help provide a safe haven for those fleeing domestic violence and the tools needed to begin to rebuild their lives. In the U.S., close to 50,000 people were helped by programs we supported in 2015. We are a proud supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a free helpline that supports victims and family members throughout the country. We also partner with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to create a domestic violence awareness campaign to support our Associates and customers in stores and offices.
In Canada, Covenant House Toronto is an organization that advocates for homeless youth, providing a comprehensive range of housing and support services to meet their needs. In addition to their monetary contributions, our Associates enthusiastically volunteer their personal time throughout the year at Canada's largest youth shelter to help serve food, stock supplies and participate in programs.