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Together, We Donated $2.7 Million for Haitian Relief

•Update 2/2/2010•

In just two weeks, customers at 289 stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. donated nearly $1.7 million to a variety of relief organizations, including Action Against Hunger, American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Doctors Without Borders, Food for the Poor and Partners in Health. Whole Foods Market’s Team Members contributed more than $58,400 to a special “Haitian Fund” to support fellow Team Members whose friends and family have been affected by the earthquake. Whole Foods Market has nearly 2,000 Haitian Team Members working in its stores. Through our Whole Planet Foundation, Whole Foods Market provided $1 million to Fonkoze, allowing the microcredit organization to be among the first to provide banking services to people in Haiti following the earthquake. Haiti-based Fonkoze serves more than 55,000 women borrowers and 1 million families who receive remittances from relatives and friends abroad, and has been a partner of Whole Planet Foundation since March 2009.  The Whole Planet Foundation contribution allowed Fonkoze to rebuild critical infrastructure and open its branch offices, giving Haitians access to cash, money transfers and much-needed loans to re-establish their businesses. “Whole Foods Market’s gift is the largest single contribution that Fonkoze has received and more importantly, it was delivered to us less than a week after the earthquake,” says Anne Hastings, director of Fonkoze Financial Services.  “Thanks to this immediate financial assistance, we were the first bank to open in Haiti, allowing us to get much-needed cash to our customers and microloans to members who need to re-establish their businesses. This is a first and major step toward economic recovery for Haiti.” While not surprised by the out-pouring of cash donations, we are extremely humbled and grateful that our customers and Team Members contributed to help so many others in need. Thank you.

•Posted 1/22/2010•

We are humbled and honored to announce that in one week, Whole Foods Market customers have donated $1 million to Haitian relief efforts. The donation drive will continue through January 31st. (Read the post below for specifics on the relief organizations we are supporting.) Additionally, through our nonprofit Whole Planet Foundation, we are doubling our original commitment to now provide $1 million to our on-the-ground microlending partner in Haiti, Fonkoze.  As one of Haiti’s leading microfinance institutions, Fonkoze offers microcredit along with a full range of financial services to the poor and underserved throughout the country.  “Fonkoze is working right now to meet the needs of impoverished Haitians and help them to recover from this devastating disaster,” said Philip Sansone, president and executive director of Whole Planet Foundation. “They are working tirelessly to get basic banking services up and running now, and eventually, will provide Haitians with much-needed loans to reestablish their businesses.” --- Posted 1/15/2010 In the wake of a devastating earthquake in Haiti that has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and many more deeply affected, our 289 stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom have partnered with various disaster relief and humanitarian aide organizations to collect donations at our registers.  Our shoppers can give any amount at the checkouts to directly support several different relief organizations. In addition, we have created a special “Haitian Fund” to support Team Members who have been affected by the earthquake. “We have many Team Members from Haiti, and together we are supporting them by taking these steps,” said Walter Robb, co-president and chief operating officer at Whole Foods Market. “We’re also setting up donation boxes in employee areas in stores, facilities and offices.” Our Team Members across different regions are taking the initiative to help in a number of ways, from collecting clothes and running food drives to putting on fundraising dinners in the stores. We are also looking into other ways to help, including working with vendors to deliver additional food and water to the country, and researching whether we can help Team Member volunteers participate in relief efforts which are going to be needed for the months to come. Through January 31st, shoppers can conveniently make donations at Whole Foods Market’s registers. Shoppers can contribute $1, $2, $5, $10, or any designated amount to each store’s selected non-profit relief organizations.  These include:
  • AmeriCares — Our stores in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Southern Pacific regions will give to AmeriCares, a disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that provides immediate response to those in need of emergency medical treatment.
  • Food for the Poor — Our stores in Florida and the Southwest region will give to this Miami-based organization with an infrastructure in Haiti. It is the largest international relief organization in the United States.
  • American Red Cross — Our stores in the Northern California, Rocky Mountain and South regions will give to the Red Cross, an emergency response organization that aids victims of devastating natural disasters.
  • Partners in Health — Our stores in the North Atlantic region, home to the highest concentration of Haitians in the U.S., will give to this Boston-based organization which brings modern medical care to poor communities in nine countries around the world.
  • Doctors Without Borders — Our Toronto-area stores will give to this international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries.
  • Action Against Hunger — Whole Foods Market’s United Kingdom stores will give to this organization, which has mounted an emergency response to provide clean water, sanitation equipment and emergency supplies for survivors.
Whole Planet Foundation, our non-profit organization that helps developing countries through microfinance, works with Fonkoze, its trusted on-the-ground partner in Haiti. Fonkoze works to meet the needs of impoverished Haitians and will be helping them recover from this devastating disaster. Fonkoze’s Earthquake News page details the most current information on Fonkoze and their microcredit clients and explains how to designate a donation for earthquake relief. Thank you all for the outpouring of generosity and we will keep you updated on our efforts.