Whole Foods Market, a leader in natural and organic foods, announced today that its customers, Whole Planet Foundation and Team Members have donated in total more than $2.7 million to relief and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. In just two weeks, customers at 289 stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. donated nearly $1.7 million to a variety of relief organizations, including Action Against Hunger, American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Doctors Without Borders, Food for the Poor and Partners in Health. Whole Foods Market’s Team Members contributed more than $58,400 to a special “Haitian Fund” to support fellow Team Members whose friends and family have been affected by the earthquake. Whole Foods Market has nearly 2,000 Haitian Team Members working in its stores.
Through the Whole Planet Foundation, Whole Foods Market doubled an original commitment to now provide $1 million to Fonkoze, allowing the microcredit organization to be among the first to provide banking services to people in Haiti following the earthquake.
“While not surprised by the out-pouring of cash donations, we are extremely humbled and grateful that our customers and Team Members contributed to help so many others in need right now,” says A.C. Gallo, co-president and chief operating officer of Whole Foods Market. Haiti-based Fonkoze serves more than 55,000 women borrowers and 1 million families who receive remittances from relatives and friends abroad, and has been a partner of Whole Planet Foundation since March 2009. The Whole Planet Foundation contribution allowed Fonkoze to rebuild critical infrastructure and open its branch offices, giving Haitians access to cash, money transfers and much-needed loans to re-establish their businesses.
“Whole Foods Market’s gift is the largest single contribution that Fonkoze has received and more importantly, it was delivered to us less than a week after the earthquake,” says Anne Hastings, director of Fonkoze Financial Services. “Thanks to this immediate financial assistance, we were the first bank to open in Haiti, allowing us to get much-needed cash to our customers and microloans to members who need to re-establish their businesses. This is a first and major step toward economic recovery for Haiti.”
Whole Foods Market stores will continue to look for additional ways to help Haiti earthquake relief efforts, so customers can visit their local stores to learn about additional events that Whole Foods Market Team Members may be organizing.