Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Help a Million More People Change Their Lives

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!

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38 comments

Comments

GSP Rushfit says …

Awesome Contest. It's powerful to see what an individual can create and then spread through to the masses on a larger scale. We are powerful beings.

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

Sarah Costanzo says …

peace

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! :)

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.

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.

Margarita Aleman says …

I love to donate and help people, special wen I going to Wholefood to purchase my food to cheer whith Others ...:)

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!

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.

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.

says …

@S. William Scott Unfortunately, this contest is run on Facebook only and only available to Facebook users. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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.

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.

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.

Geo. Conn Huffaker says …

This is a great program. We were glad to contribute at the Madison, WI Whole Foods Market.

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

Gerry says …

Change is always good for the best for everyone

Kelly F-R says …

love your store, world view :)

Roman Santillan says …

We can help and at the same time learn from their strategies. It is a win win situation.

Marie says …

Sorry, if it's facebook only I'm out too

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

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

John says …

Just give peace a chance....

CJ says …

Heather, thank you for voicing your concerns for poverty sticken US citizens who are being ignored...women, children and men of all ages. We are unindated about helping every other country & are subsidizing many individuals who come here from Mexico, etc as illegals,...also the Filipinos, etc... who apply for SSI/SSD when they have NOT paid into the system. I don't mind helping other individuals but the US Govt. not closing the loop holes of scams is UNPATRIOTIC to US citizens.

Dionne says …

I too think that for those of us who object to utilizing facebook for one reason or another, there should me another mechanism for entering this contest. A trip to India is a once in a lifetime opportunity and to limit this contest to only this medium is a disservice to those who are not on Facebook. In my recollection, this is the first time WFM has had a contest where their website or emailing has not been used for those who want to enter. I am not a member of Facebook and was not interested in becoming a member; however, I would like to have an opportunity to go to India.

K.G. says …

I am inspired to hear others that are interested in preserving the interests in the United States. I just heard that a Southern state, I believe it is Alabama, is hoping to regulate illegals--because the federal government will not do it for them. I hope that other states will follow the example, afterall the quality of life that exists is due to the generations of United States citizens that had to work for it. I did decide to stop buying plastic bottles, after I saw the waste dump in the south west and heard about the layer of plastic on the ocean floor.

Lisa S says …

Whole Foods is paying all the administrative costs so that our donations go100% to the loans, and contibutes money and operates the foundation. Team members contribute through their paychecks. I personally fund one average loan a year. That small amount am, that I do not miss, really, goes a longer way in Brazil, or India or Kenya or Guatemala...I am very proud to work for a company that facilitates this effort, here, and around the world.

Barbara Webster says …

I agree. Hooray, for the people who won't, or don't, go on Face book, I/we have heard too many sad stories that started on Face book.

Sharland Huffaker says …

looking forward to a great trip!

Dionne says …

I too would like for Whole Foods to respect those customers who are not members of Facebook and are not willing to join. This is the first contest that has not utilized email or this website for those interested in entering their contest. Facebook is objectionable to some and Whole Foods should offer other options. I would love the opportunity to enter the contest, but without joining Facebook just to enter.

Erika P. says …

I'm off Facebook for Lent. I'd love to enter the contest, but without another mode of entry, I'm unable to participate. I appreciate that Facebook is a powerful engagement tool for lots of organizations. Other contests I've participated in have had an address to enter as an alternative to digital means. I understood this to be an inclusive strategy. Perhaps there's an opportunity to have an analog way to participate in the contest? This way Whole Foods can include participants who may not have access to Facebook? Thank you for your consideration.

says …

@Erica Unfortunately, this contest is only available to Facebook users. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Leanna says …

Is there a way, other than on facebook, to enter this contest? I make frequent small donations at the Capitol Hill store, and I appreciate WF's efforts, but I refuse to use facebook. Please let me know!

says …

@Leanna Thank you for your support! This contest is only available to Facebook users.