The Lowcountry Food Bank accepted a $50,000 donation Thursday from Wal-Mart at the Paul Hulsey Community Food and Nutrition Center in North Charleston.

Founded in 1983, the Lowcountry Food Bank aims to provide nutritious food from local farms and groceries to low-income families.

The funds will be used to expand the bank's Growing Food Locally program. Started in 2005, the program works to increase availability of fresh produce to emergency food providers in the Lowcountry. The check also will help the bank reach its goal of raising $3 million in donations.

Jermaine Husser, the bank's executive director, was thankful for Wal-Mart's contribution. "Wal-Mart understands the bad economy right now, and that many nonprofit organizations are really struggling. I am grateful for their commitment to us and corporate citizenship services," she said.

Wal-Mart has donated to the food bank in the past, but Thursday's was its largest contribution yet.

"In these tough economic times, the Lowcountry Food Bank is finding ways to address the need for nutritional resources among families and individuals with limited income," said Greg Ley, regional market manager for Wal-Mart.

"At Wal-Mart, we wanted to support this worthwhile program and help them to continue to provide food to South Carolina residents along our coastal region."

Reach Elizabeth Laseter at 958-7368 or elaseter@postandcourier.com.