AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Whole Foods Market, a leader in natural and organic foods, announced today that its customers at 289 stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. have donated $1 million to several relief efforts in Haiti since January 14.
"Whole Foods Market has seen first-hand the big hearts of its customers during difficult times like these and we are so amazed at their generosity," said A.C Gallo, co-president and chief operating officer of Whole Foods Market. "We have made it easy for customers to give what they can at our registers to help deliver critical aid to the people of Haiti."
Donation drives at the company's checkout counters will continue at all stores until Jan. 31 and directly support a variety of non-profit relief organizations including: Action Against Hunger, American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Doctors Without Borders, Food for the Poor and Partners in Health.
Additionally, through its Whole Planet Foundation, Whole Foods Market is doubling its original commitment to now provide $1 million to its on-the-ground microlending partner in Haiti, Fonkoze. As one of Haiti's leading microfinance institutions, Fonkoze offers microcredit along with a full range of financial services to the poor and underserved throughout the country. The additional funding from Whole Foods Market will assist Fonkoze in rebuilding critical infrastructure lost in the earthquake as they attempt to resume operations. The Whole Planet Foundation is Whole Foods Market's nonprofit organization that helps developing countries through microfinance.
"Fonkoze is working right now to meet the needs of impoverished Haitians and help them to recover from this devastating disaster," said Philip Sansone, president and executive director of Whole Planet Foundation. "They are working tirelessly to get basic banking services up and running now, and eventually, will provide Haitians with much-needed loans to reestablish their businesses."
For further information, visit Fonkoze's Earthquake News page for updates on Fonkoze and its microcredit clients as well as information about how to donate to earthquake relief efforts.
Whole Foods Market customers also can visit their local stores to learn about additional earthquake relief efforts that Whole Foods Market Team Members may be organizing, such as clothing or food drives.
Additionally, Whole Foods Market has created the "Haitian Fund" to support its Team Members who have been affected by the earthquake. A similar effort in 2005 saw Team Members donate more than $250,000 to assist their colleagues who were affected by Hurricane Katrina.
About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (www.wholefoodsmarket.com, Nasdaq: WFMI), is a leader in the natural and organic foods industry and America's first national certified organic grocer and was named "America's Healthiest Grocery Store" by Health magazine. The company motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"™ capture its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to its more than 50,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America by FORTUNE magazine for 12 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2009, the company had sales of $8 billion and currently has 289 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
SOURCE Whole Foods Market