Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Fighting Poverty in the US

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!