Fresno finished 2nd in Walmart fighting hunger campaign

FRESNO, Calif.

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Laptops were open Wednesday at noon at the Community Food Bank. All were ready to receive the news, and the word came.

Groans and cheers -- as Fresnan's realized Salt Lake City would be the recipient of the million dollar prize from Walmart. After two weeks of nearly round the clock "liking" on Facebook, Fresnan's clocked in with 4.1 million votes to Salt Lake City's 5.3 million.

As soon as the numbers were announced our Facebook page here at ABC30 lit up with comments. Most were thankful Fresno would be getting $100 thousand. But some feel Fresno should have won.

Walmart counted "likes" "comments" and "shares" from 100 different communities. For the last five days the retail giant says it has been validating all the votes.

Walmart Spokesperson, Deisha Galberth said, "At the end of the day we cross-referenced all the different numbers and validated the campaign and we felt very confident that the final rankings are accurate."

Reggie DeLeon, a Fresno City College student spent most of his Christmas break on Facebook liking and sharing. He even set up a website called "Jim Bean" with automatic links to the Walmart Hunger Campaign. He was at the food bank Wednesday when the winner was announced.

DeLeon said, "It's a little disappointing but in the end a hundred thousand dollars can make a big difference here in the valley."

Fresno's Community Food Bank CEO Andy Souza, says he's encouraged by the thousands who are now engaged in fighting hunger in the valley.

"The good news is not only do we have $100 thousand to invest. But we have great community support in the last two weeks that I haven't seen in my tenure here, let alone in years gone by."

Over the next couple of weeks Walmart will work with several non-profits -- including the Community Food Bank to determine how the $100 thousand will be spent.

Fresno is not the only city to earn a donation from the retailer. Bakersfield will also receive $100 thousand for finishing in the top six.

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