Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Help a Million More People Change Their Lives

By Whole Planet Foundation, February 22, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Whole Planet Foundation

Do you believe that small change can bring big change? We do!

Read on to find out how you can share your story in Whole Planet Foundation's Facebook essay contest for a chance to win a trip for two to India, courtesy of Intrepid Travel.

Whole Planet Foundation funds poverty alleviation through microcredit in the US and abroad. So far, we’ve supported more than a million people in changing their own lives. With your help during Whole Planet Foundation’s Annual Prosperity Campaign this year, we can empower a million more people to lift themselves out of poverty!

Now through March 31st, we hope that you will join fellow shoppers, team members, Supplier Alliance for Microcreditvendor partners and online donors in raising $4.1 million to help impoverished people living in communities around the globe where Whole Foods Market® sources products.

The foundation was born out of Whole Foods Market's desire to give something back to those who have helped us succeed while focusing on the persistent problem of world poverty and hunger.

With your help, we empower the very poor with microcredit loans to create or expand home-based businesses, such as small-scale farming, food carts and raising livestock, providing an opportunity to lift themselves and their family out of poverty in a sustainable way.

Microcredit loans are small, usually $300 or less, and require no collateral or contract. Providing impoverished women access to this type of credit enables them to escape the vicious cycle of poverty by using their own energy and creativity to help themselves.

Whole Planet Foundation currently funds microcredit for 200,000 clients (92% of them women) with a repayment rate of 97%! Including the families of our borrowers, we are supporting more than a million people with $17 million disbursed through trusted microfinance institution partners.

We support the very poor in 50 countries across Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

What makes microcredit so amazing is the fact that the loans are repaid and reloaned again and again, and when you make a donation at the register at your local Whole Foods Market, 100% of your contribution benefits microcredit clients because Whole Foods Market covers all operating expenses for Whole Planet Foundation.

If you’re not near one of our stores, you can donate online or start your own campaign on Whole Planet Foundation’s website and spread awareness to your friends and family about how together we can help people change their own lives.  

Read the stories of women who have benefitted from this support. This year’s prosperity campaign focuses on how big change can come from small change. We’re giving you the chance to do something small that could turn into something big: share a small story in our Facebook essay contest and you might win a big trip to India!

From now until March 18th, you can go to Whole Planet Foundation’s Facebook page for a chance to win a trip for two to India. (You’ll need to have your own Facebook account and “follow us” to enter.) You’ll be asked to write a short essay, no more than 350 words, describing how a small change you have made has had a big impact on the world around you.

Feel free to include links to web pages, Facebook pages or other online locations that help tell the story.

A group of finalists will be chosen by Facebook fans’ votes, and the Whole Planet Foundation team will select the final winners based on:

  • 50% expression of the contest theme
  • 20% creativity of the submission and clarity of the description of the entrant’s efforts
  • 30% impact the entrant’s efforts had

For a full list of contest rules and criteria, visit the Whole Planet Foundation Facebook contest page. One lucky winner and his or her guest will travel to India to witness firsthand how access to microcredit has changed the lives of so many women, like Vanaja (pictured here), as well as visit the Kerala region where Whole Foods Market sources cashews.

We thank you for your support!




colleen says ...
I wish Whole Foods was putting their money into this too. It has a slight ring of exploitation in terms of us providing money to WF so it can lend money to businesses that WF will buy product from and profit from at a healthy rate I'm sure. Is that where products for the 365 brand come from?
02/22/2012 6:19:32 PM CST
Dan Scott says ...
Make your contests available on Google+ please. Because of numerous privacy/security concerns many people such as myself will not use FarceBook
02/22/2012 6:48:30 PM CST
Teri says ...
I always donate by bringing the bags I have purchased from Wholefoods, and I give a donation to help the eology and people anyway.
02/22/2012 6:53:07 PM CST
Sarah Costanzo says ...
02/22/2012 7:31:07 PM CST
Caleb Anderson says ...
Every chance i get, i do something good for the enviroment and for WFM. Old bags? Recycle! Tons of change? Give it to the store for improvements! There's tons of outlets that help the enviroment and the people who shop at/love WFM. I know WFM has a promising future and will grow to be the Organic Wal-Mart, minus the hippes outside asking for money and the crappy produce, and the SMELL in the Dukey Rooms...I have no clue how the poor cashiers focus all day while smelling Genetically Modified, Stagnant poop. :( Go WFM! :)
02/22/2012 8:09:15 PM CST
Linda says ...
I am actively involved in supporting a foundation that is dedicated to helping millions of people in India change their lives by offering them pure water, nutrious food, eyeglass clinics, education programs to learn skills for work, rehabilitation programs in prisons, access to learning inner peace techniques and so much more. I donate regularly and attend fund raisers for this purpose. I distribute literature and invite people to events on this subject. I invite you to check out www.tprf.org and all the wonderful work they do.
02/22/2012 8:48:54 PM CST
Linda K says ...
This sounds like a wonderful program. I hope that this program will also teach these people how to farm organically. I will be donating next time I shop at Whole Foods.
02/22/2012 9:58:58 PM CST
Margarita Aleman says ...
I love to donate and help people, special wen I going to Wholefood to purchase my food to cheer whith Others ...:)
02/22/2012 10:17:22 PM CST
Mary arling says ...
Look how small changes by Mother Theresa made huge differences for India!!!! of course small changes make big differences little by little, bit by bit!
02/22/2012 10:41:40 PM CST
Suzanne says ...
I am really sorry that Whole Foods has chosen to exclude those of us who are not on Facebook. This seems very hypocritical in many ways. I shop at Whole Foods 2-3 times a week, use my bags and donate my nickels. I use fair trade products and obviously receive the store's emails. I am a vegetarian and love to cook. I would also love an opportunity to visit India. It's been a dream for a long time.
02/23/2012 7:56:09 AM CST
s. william scott says ...
Is there no way loyal Whole Foods customers, who share your environmental and health concerns, but are not on Facebook or other so-called social media, can enter. Or is this contest limited to a certain category of people and excludes those who are not facebook or twitter people? Is there no way to enter via e-mail? I suggest it is not a good idea to exclude a segment of your customer base. Thank you.
02/23/2012 7:59:14 AM CST
Robert Launay says ...
Large-scale development projects almost always take the interests of men into account and leave women marginalized. It is essential to foster a kind of development which does not accentuate gender inequality. Microcredit tends to be far more woman-friendly.
02/23/2012 9:03:53 AM CST
Heather says ...
As much as I admire the anti-poverty efforts, I never see anything that's directed only at the US to help the poverty-stricken right here at home. I hear of homeless people freezing to death (literally), or dying from the heat, but not much of anything else. They teach you when you fly to cover your OWN mouth first, THEN to help the person next to you if they need it - I think that practice should apply in EVERY aspect of life. I'm sorry, but all my donations will be to places dedicated to helping people in the US first, which currently, is only 1-2 places - it's sad really.
02/23/2012 9:08:13 AM CST
Sharland Huffaker says ...
We are using more & more of these wonderful spices in our meals. What a difference they make in flavor, and also in our health.
02/23/2012 12:01:47 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@S. William Scott Unfortunately, this contest is run on Facebook only and only available to Facebook users. Sorry for the inconvenience.
02/24/2012 1:09:27 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Dan We may start doing contests on G+ but it is not our main source of social engagement currently. Thank you for your input.
02/24/2012 1:12:47 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Colleen Our 365 brand products come from all over. If you're curious you can always read the product packaging for its production location.
02/24/2012 1:13:33 PM CST
Geo. Conn Huffaker says ...
This is a great program. We were glad to contribute at the Madison, WI Whole Foods Market.
02/24/2012 3:00:07 PM CST
laureng says ...
I agree with Dan Scott please have other access sites. Dan Scott Says: February 22nd, 2012 at 6:48 pm Make your contests available on Google+ please. Because of numerous privacy/security concerns many people such as myself will not use FarceBook
02/24/2012 11:52:06 PM CST
Gerry says ...
Change is always good for the best for everyone
02/26/2012 3:26:14 PM CST
Kelly F-R says ...
love your store, world view :)
02/29/2012 7:50:14 PM CST
Roman Santillan says ...
We can help and at the same time learn from their strategies. It is a win win situation.
02/29/2012 8:07:24 PM CST
Marie says ...
Sorry, if it's facebook only I'm out too
02/29/2012 8:22:39 PM CST
Alejandra says ...
I agree with Mr. Scott and laureng. I'm not subscribed to facebook and I'm not planning to do so. Please change it to other site like Google +. Thank you, Alejandra
02/29/2012 9:04:32 PM CST
Bogumila Kenney says ...
I love to bring back my Whole Food bags as well. I also ask for the used bags on my rerun trips. I vote with my purchases by supporting the right businesses, animal compasionate or vegan products, and the great people that care so much and just need my support. I always donate something and contribute with product purchases at my Whole Foods store. My favorite outside not-for-profit is located in Thailand (but fully US tax deductible) called Soidog. It's for a much needed and dear to my hear cause
02/29/2012 10:46:24 PM CST