AUSTIN, Texas (April 29, 2014) – From foot races and fashion shows to concerts and bake sales, Whole Foods Market shoppers took part in thousands of events in March to raise more than $7 million for Whole Planet Foundation. The events were all part of Whole Planet Foundation’s 2014 Prosperity Campaign, a five-week campaign to support the nonprofit’s efforts to alleviate global poverty in communities that supply Whole Foods Market stores with products.

The foundation funds microlending programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America to provide low-income individuals, mostly women, with an opportunity to launch or expand a home-based business, and with the chance to lift themselves and their families out of poverty, one microloan at a time.

In addition to attending events, shoppers donated everything from pocket change to full microcredit loan amounts of $200 at store checkouts, for a total of $7.17 million. Whole Foods Market covers 100 percent of the foundation’s operating costs, so every penny donated directly supports micro-entrepreneurs.

“Small change makes a huge difference,” said Philip Sansone, president and executive director of Whole Planet Foundation.  “More than 40 percent of the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day, so every penny makes a real impact. For a woman living in abject poverty, a $200 microloan is her ticket to a fresh start, a chance to gain financial independence and an opportunity to provide for her family.”

To date, Whole Planet Foundation has committed $4 million to domestic lending projects and a total of more than $48 million for microlending projects in 59 countries including the U.S.

To spice up this year’s campaign, Whole Planet Foundation teamed up with Intrepid Travel, one of the world’s leading small-group adventure travel operators, to offer a chance to win a six-day trip to meet microcredit clients in Mexico. The winner and her guest will join 12 Whole Foods Market team members who won trips for their creativity and dedication to the foundation’s mission of alleviating poverty worldwide.

For more information about the foundation or upcoming fundraising opportunities, visit: