AUSTIN, Texas, June 2, 2011 — To celebrate the five-year anniversary of its nonprofit, Whole Planet Foundation, Whole Foods Market is offering shoppers a new gift card that will help customers donate to fight world poverty.

When shoppers purchase one of the new gift cards, a $1 donation to Whole Planet Foundation will automatically be added to the original face value of the card, giving shoppers an easy way right at the check out to make a real difference in the lives of working poor around the world.

“It’s so inspiring to see Whole Foods Market shoppers looking for even more ways to give back. Thanks to their ongoing support, we’ve been able provide more than 146,000 poor entrepreneurs in 36 countries with a chance to change their own lives through microcredit,” said Philip Sansone, president and executive director of Whole Planet Foundation. “Now, when they purchase one of the new gift cards, shoppers are not only buying a present for a loved one, they’re helping contribute to better lives of those in need in developing countries.”

Established as an expansion of Whole Foods Market’s mission to be an active participant in the global community, Whole Planet Foundation provides grants to microfinance institutions in developing countries where the grocer sources products.

Whole Foods Market covers all operating costs for Whole Planet Foundation, so 100 percent of each donation funds microlending projects around the world. Typical microcredit clients use loans – usually about $200 each – to start home-based businesses, from tailoring and producing artisan goods to small-scale farming.

 In addition to supporting the Foundation’s mission, the gift cards are made from birch wood harvested from sustainably managed forests certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

 In just five years, the Foundation has funded more than $11.5 million and committed more than $16 million in microlending programs in 36 countries, positively impacting more than 868,000 people worldwide.

 For more on Whole Planet Foundation, the 2011 Prosperity Campaign, or for stories and testimonials from microcredit loan recipients, visit: