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Empower the Poor $1 at a Time

Whole Planet Foundation I love my job at Whole Planet Foundation. Every day is an opportunity to help empower the poor through microcredit in communities around the globe where Whole Foods Market sources product. Whole Planet Foundation funds microlending projects in communities where Whole Foods Market sources coffee from communities in East Timor, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya and Nicaragua; bananas from communities in Costa Rica and Honduras; tea from India and Nepal; rice from Thailand; and produce and dairy from the New York City area. Microcredit is small loans - around $200 - provided to impoverished individuals who use the funds to start their own home-based businesses to lift themselves out of poverty, like these women. Whole Planet Foundation There are more than 1 billion people living on less than $1 a day (in US currency). Today through March 31st at all U.S. Whole Foods Market locations, you can empower the poor. Make a donation of $1 at the registers and help raise $1 million for microcredit. Last year, thanks to shopper generosity, we were able to expand into Africa to fund microcredit loans for the very poor in Ethiopia and Kenya. This year we are expanding to a community in Peru where Whole Foods Market sources onions, with additional potential projects in communities in Mexico, Haiti, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Paraguay. You can give with confidence as Whole Foods Market covers 100% of Whole Planet Foundation operating costs. Please join us in empowering the poor through microcredit, and donate $1 at a store or online as part of this annual campaign to raise $1 million for the very poor in our communities around the globe. Visit www.wholeplanetfoundation.org to learn more. Thank you. Joy with Guatemalan KidsAs the Director of Partnership Development and Internal Programs for Whole Planet Foundation, Joy Peterson helps develop strategic partnerships and works with Whole Foods Market Team Members who are excited to experience the Foundation and become involved in our Team Member Volunteer Program. Joy loves communicating about microlending, service and Whole Foods Market Core Values.

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Lalia Helmer says …

Today when I was checking out, I heard the conversation beteen a customer and the checkout person about donating to the Whole Planet Foundation. The customer questioned where and how much of the donations went to other costs rather than the people that the organization served. The employee stated that all of the donations went to the microlending recipients. A few weeks ago I also noticed all the fundraising efforts at the checkout: the spare change collecton box, the added dollar to the receipt and the donation from using my own bag. So, I went home and checked out your website. It's a great website, full of wonderful stories about your microlending, your collaboration with vendors and how Whole Foods pays all the administrative costs. I even wrote about this on my blog:www.businessthatcares.blospot.com. So-why is it that all of this information is not available to your customers in your store? I would love more information to be provided throughout the store about the projects and the partners of the Whole Planet Foundation. This isn't about just tooting your horn, but as a customer I want to become more educated about what you do. I would love to see videos on screens around the store about the projects you fund, a slide show featuring the microentrepreneurs, printed materials about how you operate, more books for sale on microfinancing in your book selection, little tags on the product displays that show which suppliers and vendors particpate in the scanback. The best fundraising efforts are through education and I for one would love to learn more while I am walking around my local Whole Foods store.

JR says …

This is a noble cause that I normally would support, but with our country going into the abyss, we need to focus less on those in need outside of our borders and begin the rebuilding process here at home.

Brad says …

If you have not looked into ths great foundation you are missing out on a amazing definition of what a quality and honest "corporation" can be all about. I suggest you look at where you choose to spend your hard earned income, not only are you getting high quality foods that are healthy for your family, but you are helping many families around the world lead more secure and fullfilling lives. There are so many great foundations and programs in which whole foods is reaching out to many communities around the wold including in your back yard. The whole planet foundation is only one way whole foods gives back, not just this month, but everyday. Ask your local store about many of these programs. I know I was amaized when I founs out just by filling my grocery list where my money ended up. I believe during these great ecinomical hardships we are all faced with, we all need to vote with our dollars and show all other corporations how we expect them to acked. I will no longer give my money to any other company that is not willing to share the wealth. Thank you Whole Foods!

Mary says …

I heard about this program through one of my customers at the bank where I work, and I just had to check it out. I think it's a wonderful idea and I'm really glad that someone was impacted by it enough to mention it to me in conversation. Even though I don't make it to a Whole Foods location as often as I would like, I can still donate online! Thanks for the info.

says …

JR, Brad and Mary, Whole Planet Foundation is grateful for your support! Whole Foods Market shoppers are empowering the poor through microcredit and have contributed over $536,345 at the registers in the first two weeks of this six-week annual campaign. This tremendous generosity will empower 2,616 people the chance to lift themselves, and on average 4 other people out of poverty, providing access to microcredit for 10,465 people living in communities where Whole Foods Market sources product (given the developing world average loan size of $205). Whole Planet Foundation is funding microlending projects in communities where Whole Foods Market sources coffee from communities in East Timor, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Nicaragua, bananas from communities in Costa Rica and Honduras, tea from India and Nepal, rice from Thailand, onions from Peru and produce and dairy from the New York City area. As of February 2009, 33,000 Whole Planet Foundation microcredit clients have a repayment rate over 98%. Thank you for helping to raise $1 million by March 31st to reach an additional 25,000 people. You can <a href="http://www.wholeplanetfoundation.org/get-involved/whole-foods-market-annual-campaign-2009/" rel="nofollow">track campaign progress here</a>. -Hallie