For two weeks during June 23 and July 6, shoppers donated $1,114,474 to Whole Planet Foundation at the registers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. to alleviate poverty in countries supplying Whole Foods Market stores with products. Whole Planet Foundation is a Whole Foods Market nonprofit dedicated to funding microcredit – small loans usually less than $200 – empowering the world’s poorest people with the chance to create or expand a business for the opportunity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Since 2006, Whole Planet Foundation has disbursed $92 million through microfinance partners in 78 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, including in 20 U.S. cities. Whole Planet Foundation collaborates with a wide network of microfinance organizations and supports entrepreneurs – mostly women – in some of the most marginalized and remote communities around the world, funding 4.9 million microloans and 26 million opportunities for a better life through entrepreneurship. See the Foundation’s global impact dashboard and learn more about how impact is calculated.
“With a microcredit loan, an impoverished woman can generate income and lift herself and her family up. Each year, the generosity and support of Whole Foods Market shoppers, Team Members, suppliers and corporate partners provides life-changing opportunities for microentrepreneurs to generate income and lift themselves and their families out of poverty,” said Joy Stoddard, Whole Planet Foundation development and outreach director. Because Whole Foods Market covers the foundation’s operating costs, 100% of every donation benefits microcredit clients.
For example, Jihan is a microcredit client of Whole Planet Foundation’s partner Global Fund for Widows in Egypt where Whole Foods Market sources tea. Jihan was widowed four years ago, so she took over the small family store in Egypt. She used her microloan of 6000 EP (about $378) repayable over 10 months from Global Fund for Widows to purchase inventory and grow her store. She has also added a knitting component to her business with her daughter and is showing one of the knit sweaters in the photograph.
“We are grateful to Whole Foods Market shoppers for their generosity and to supplier donors for supporting the annual campaign with $850,000 total, including two $100,000 donors in Allegro Coffee Company and So Delicious Dairy Free,” said Philip Sansone, president and executive director for Whole Planet Foundation. “Given the average first loan size of $174, these funds go far, especially given the regenerative nature of microcredit where loans are repaid and reloaned again and again, lifting families and communities over time.”
This year’s $50,000 donors include Chobani, Good Culture, Honest Tea, KeVita Probiotic Drinks, Naked Juice, Papyrus-Recycled Paper Greetings, SAMBAZON, Seventh Generation, siggi’s, Stacy’s, Stonyfield Organic, Topo Chico and Traditional Medicinals.
Based on the current average first loan size funded by Whole Planet Foundation, Whole Foods Market shopper support will enable the Foundation to fund approximately 6,000 microcredit loans for essential businesses, providing more than 33,000 opportunities for entrepreneurs and their family members with the chance to change their own lives through their own hard work. Learn more about the transformative power of microcredit at Whole Planet Foundation.
About Whole Planet Foundation
Founded in 2005, Whole Planet Foundation is a Whole Foods Market foundation that funds poverty alleviation worldwide where the company sources products. The nonprofit’s mission is to empower the world’s poorest people with microcredit and the chance to create or expand a home-based business and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. As of May 2021, Whole Planet Foundation is alleviating poverty through microfinance partners in the United States and 77 other countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. To date, the nonprofit has disbursed $92 million dollars through microlending partners worldwide, funding 4.9 million microloans and 26 million opportunities for a better life for microentrepreneurs and their family members.
About Whole Foods Market
For 40 years, Whole Foods Market has been the world’s leading natural and organic foods retailer. As the first certified organic national grocer, Whole Foods Market has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. To learn more about Whole Foods Market, please visit https://media.wholefoodsmarket.com.