Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Fighting Poverty in the US

By Joy Stoddard, February 22, 2014  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Joy Stoddard

Florentina Ramirez - New York entreprenuer growing her business through microlending.

Poverty isn’t just a developing-world problem; it’s an issue we’re battling right here at home. Whole Planet Foundation has seen the profound impact microcredit can have by giving a hand up to low-income entrepreneurs. Take Florentina, for example. She sells specialty gifts and apparel from her storefront in New York City. Like many small business owners, Florentina had the skills and motivation but needed access to capital to expand her business and increase her income. 

With no collateral or credit history required, microloans offer many low-income women their first chance to gain financial independence by starting or expanding their own business. Prosperity from their food carts, at-home bakeries and flower shops are helping women provide healthy meals, housing and education for themselves and their children.

Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization, provides women like Florentina with microloans, training and support to build small businesses and create better lives for their families. That’s why Whole Planet Foundation has committed more than $5 million to fight poverty in the US through Grameen America. The money will help them launch a new microlending branch in Austin, Texas, as well as support existing programs in six metro areas: New York, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Charlotte, NC, Omaha and Indianapolis.

To date, Whole Planet Foundation has committed more than $48 million and disbursed $32 million for poverty alleviation projects throughout 59 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. This support is providing more than 2 million people with the chance for a better life.  

Through March 31, you can make a difference by participating in hundreds of fundraising events at Whole Foods Market stores – from charity races and tasting events to garage sales and fashion shows – all as part of Whole Planet Foundation’s nationwide Prosperity Campaign. Shoppers can also donate at store checkouts or online at wholeplanetfoundation.org. Through these efforts, Whole Planet Foundation aims to raise $7 million for microlending projects in just five weeks. Thank you for your support!

 

6 Comments

Comments

Tracy Lynn Edgar says ...
This is amazing ! I am excited to see that people realize we need help right here , not just in developing Countries. There are so many hungry and struggling everywhere. Thank you for what you are doing
03/07/2014 11:02:01 PM CST
LINDA BABLER says ...
i WOULD LIKE TO SHARE THIS WITH THE LADIES OF UNITED METHODIST WOMEN IN OUR UPCOMING NEWSLETTER, WOULD THAT BE ALL RIGHT AND WITH IN YOUR GUIDE LINES. lINDA
03/14/2014 11:54:44 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LINDA - If you want to direct them to this page with a link that is totally fine! Thanks for sharing!
03/14/2014 2:10:37 PM CDT
Sharon Anne says ...
How can I get a list of events supporting Grameen? thank You
03/21/2014 9:50:30 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SHARON - I would suggest following Grameen America on their social channels to be notified of upcoming events. You can find their pages on their site at http://grameenamerica.org/.
03/24/2014 12:59:32 PM CDT
Leslie Tennie says ...
A friend of mine, Dennis White, is a Veteran who served our country honorably and with dignity. His fervor for fighting poverty is just as monumental as his service to our nation. He was homeless as a teenager, and living behind a dumpster when he decided that was not the fate he was destined for, rather than succumbing to his situation of social regression he changed the outcome of his future. Since, he’s made it his life’s mission to help people (random or strategic) in reaching their goals, his foundation, The Dynamic Foundation, is designed to eradicate poverty within 5 short years. He uses an algorithm he developed while still serving in the military. He needs the help of others to fully implement this algorithm and begin the process of eliminating poverty in the US.
05/15/2014 7:52:33 AM CDT