Whole foods market
Whole Food Market’s 2016 annual Prosperity Campaign for the Whole Planet Foundation raised $3.26 million to improve global poverty. All of the funds raised by Whole Foods Market will help support the foundation’s work to fund microcredit for poverty relief in 68 countries.

Philip Sansone, president and executive director for Whole Planet Foundation, shared that the “Whole Planet Foundation will be able to give an additional 91,100 people the chance to lift themselves out of poverty through microcredit and change their own lives” because of shoppers’ generosity.

The Prosperity Campaign encourages Whole Food Market supplier sponsors, customers, team members and online donors to donate to the Whole Planet Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Whole Foods Market. The foundation provides grants to microfinance institutions in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the U.S. These countries then develop and offer microloans to the self-employed poor.

Microloans are small loans of usually less than $300 with no contract or warranty. The loans are used to help the world’s poorest create or expand businesses and make an income for their families. The average first loan size in poor countries is $184, but each microloan helps at least five people invest in their families.

Whole Foods Market covers 100 percent of Whole Planet Foundation’s operating expenses to ensure that all donations benefit microcredit clients. Since 2006, the foundation has distributed over $53 million in microloans across the world, giving 7.8 million people a chance at a better life.

In communities without many jobs, credit serves as a direct means for the poor to improve their family’s lives. Without jobs, the poor are left to their own devices to provide for their families. While microcredit loans alone will not end poverty, it will help provide better nutrition, healthcare, housing, education and schooling to families living in poverty. Whole Planet Foundation is committed to supporting life-saving opportunities to help global poverty.

Jackie Venuti

Photo: Flickr