March 21, 2013

Whole Foods Gets An A+...

Whole Foods is known for being the grocery store where the elite shop for their fancy specialty items like organic kale and grass fed beef.  The environment, the beautiful produce, the expansive bakery and deli departments.  It makes for such a pleasant shopping experience.

Until recently I always donated my reusable bag credit to my local food bank.  And then this super cute cashier told me about the Whole Planet Foundation.  With toes tapping in frustration behind me in line, I got the skinny so I could pass it along to you.

The mission of  the Whole Planet Foundation is simple.  They provide loans, primarily to women, in the impoverished countries that supply products to Whole Foods Markets.  The loans are nominal by our standards, and are then used by the recipients to begin or expand a business.  The average "microcredit" is $162.00 and requires no formal contract and no collateral. And guess what?  The average repayment rate is 96%.   Thus far 236,000 loans have been extended, and it is estimated that over $22 million have been disbursed.

I have read many times that an important path out of world poverty is to empower the women in developing countries.  By seizing business opportunities, women glean more respect from those in their communities.  As a result, they naturally pass their legacy on to their daughters and other impressionable girls.

For the month of March, Whole Foods is having a fundraising campaign in support of this very important foundation.  You can participate in your local store or go online and contribute with any amount.

Nice job, Whole Foods!  I always like to see our country's leaders give back.

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