NEW ORLEANS, La. (January 2, 2008). For the 2nd year in a row, the Whole Foods Market stores in Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina will donate one dollar for every king cake sold to the White Boot Brigade, a group of commercial fishing families that is working to rebuild the Louisiana shrimper community.
“The post-Katrina rebuilding process has proven to be more challenging than anticipated and we are at a critical juncture,” noted Kristina Bradford, community relations coordinator for New Orleans, Metairie, and Baton Rouge. “As a Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board Shrimp Task Force board member, I’ve heard stories from shrimpers at just how critical the situation has become for family, friends, and them. The Whole Foods Market king cake promotion will provide tremendous relief to the shrimper community and help preserve our unique culture and industry enjoyed worldwide.”
In the Company’s Southwest stores in Louisiana and Texas, the promotion begins January 5th and concludes Mardi Gras Day, February 5th. For the South stores in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina locations, the fundraiser runs January 19th to Mardi Gras Day.
A project of Loyola University’s marketumbrella.org, the White Boot Brigade is a small band of Louisiana shrimpers that focus on smaller, smarter boutique production to cultivate new markets and reward their triple bottom line of economic innovation, ecological sustainability, and cultural preservation.
Last year, the promotion collectively raised more than $15,000 for the White Boot Brigade and provided vital assistance for rebuilding and marketing efforts to expand the shrimpers’ businesses. Whole Foods Market’s South region stores originated the king cake fundraising project to support the post-Katrina community by donating one dollar from the sale of king cakes to the Crescent City Farmers Market while the New Orleans stores were in the final rebuilding phase in 2006. Their efforts raised over $9,000 and reinforced Whole Foods Market’s commitment to support the communities in which we work and live.
This year, the Company’s South and Southwest regions will work together again to support the White Boot Brigade whose campaigns have introduced chefs and consumers to the unique Louisiana “sweet water” shrimp and have raised awareness through their traveling shrimpers road show at the Crescent City Farmers Market and Red Stick Farmers Market as well as New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, Kenner, Covington, New York City and the West Coast.
Even before Katrina’s devastation, the Louisiana commercial fishing families had experienced serious challenges with the onslaught of global competition, isolation from consumers and their evolving tastes, and confusing governmental regulations. Katrina left the state of commercial fishing families in perpetual crisis, with the loss of any shrimper impacting the regional economy, restaurant culture, and the state’s reputation as Sportsman’s Paradise.
“I’m proud of this project and look forward to helping the shrimpers and their communities. They have given us so much culinary joy and tradition that it’s only fitting to return the favor through a food promotion,” remarked Bradford. “We wish all of our guests and Team Members a wonderful Carnival season and appreciate their help in supporting the White Boot Brigade.”
For more information on Whole Foods Market and the White Boot Brigade, visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com and www.whitebootbrigade.org