Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Meet Microcredit Clients and Donate

By Whole Planet Foundation, March 4, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Whole Planet Foundation
As part of our annual Whole Plant Foundation Prosperity Campaign, we want to take the opportunity to introduce you to some of the microcredit clients who have benefited from our work thus far. With support from shoppers, team members, vendors and microfinance institution partners, Whole Planet Foundation has empowered 130,000 clients with microcredit loans in five years, supporting over half a million people in 30 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America with a chance to escape poverty. Please join our 2011 campaign to help give a hand up to 70,000 more. Norzina, Haiti Norzina has a business on a back street behind the market, which is on a major transit route in Gonaives, Haiti where Whole Foods Market sources mangoes. Norzina is a microcredit client of Fonkoze, a Whole Planet Foundation partner. She sells charcoal in bulk to businesses, schools and individuals who then sell much smaller amounts at a time to others. Norzina supports her community by feeding the neighborhood children, setting an example of how to be successful and lift oneself out of poverty while helping others. Euceria, Honduras Euceria is a microcredit client of Adelante Foundation, a Whole Planet Foundation partner that offers small loans to poor working women so that they can invest in their own businesses. Euceria makes pan de coco (coconut bread) and pan dulce (sweet bread), both staples of the regional diet. She has invested her first loan in ingredients for cooking, including flour, lard and salt. Euceria prepares the dough in her kitchen and cooks the bread over a fire pit outside of her home, using recipes and techniques she learned from her mother who was also a bread-maker. She puts the warm rolls in a basket and walks through the streets of her community, selling her bread to neighbors. Letegebrieal, Ethiopia Letegebrieal has a roasted-chickpea business in northern Ethiopia where Whole Foods Market sources coffee, and is a microcredit client funded by A Glimmer of Hope Foundation, a Whole Planet Foundation® partner. For years, Letegebrieal’s family was dependent on food assistance programs. One night, this 53-year old single mother gave her crying children water with salt in it because there was no food. It was the last straw. The next day, she applied for a microloan to start a business and today, her roasted chickpeas are a sought-after delicacy throughout Northern Ethiopia. She has a new house and her children are all well-fed and in school. Maria, Nicaragua Maria runs a cooking business in which her main activity is a fritanga—a Nicaraguan custom of selling homemade, street-side meals to go. Every evening, Maria sets up a table full of food and hungry neighbors swarm, many taking food home to their families. Maria is a client of Pro Mujer, a Whole Planet Foundation partner in Peru where Whole Foods Market sources onions. Maria has invested her loans in her house, improving the working conditions of her home-based business as well as living conditions for her family. She has replaced her wooden roof with a tin roof, tiled her once-dirt floors, and added on two rooms. Bindu, India Bindu is a microcredit client of Microcredit Initiative of Grameen in Kerala, India where Whole Foods Market sources cashews, a local ingredient of Vegetable Biryani. Bindu started her stationary shop and kiosk with her first loan. She has invested subsequent loans in purchasing more goods to sell to grow her business, increasing volume and profit. Her dream is for her family to have a good house, and education and a better future for herself and her two children. Rosario, Guatemala Every weekend Rosario packs a bundle of her shirts, tablecloths, belts and bags and travels to the market. Rosario is now embarking on her third loan cycle as a member of Banrural Grameen Guatemala, a Whole Planet Foundation partner where Whole Foods Market sources coffee. She accredits these loans to the salvation of her business. In 2005, Rosario’s house was destroyed by Hurricane Stan. She lost everything; her stove, pots, pans, mattress, loom and thread were carried away by floods or damaged beyond repair. She took out a loan to buy yarn and diversify her products to grow her business and be able to repair the damage to her home. Don’t forget to enter to win a trip to Peru to meet Whole Planet Foundation Microcredit Clients and Partners firsthand and to see how your donation helps alleviate poverty worldwide.




Shopper says ...
Prices at Whole Foods are rather higher than other local stores (Safeway comes to mind) for the same products and being panhandled at the cash register for my spare change is pushing me away from your store toward the competition. So, no, I don't want to round up my already costly enough grocery bill so that Whole Foods can give money to foreigners I don't know and don't care about. Stop asking!
03/04/2011 10:13:28 AM CST
TheGourmetCoffeeGuy says ...
Very nice post about micro businesses across different regions of the world and corporate social responsiblity. Nice photos.
03/09/2011 10:58:28 PM CST