Whole Foods and fighting poverty are not words normally associated with one another, but a unique initiative underway with a breakfast supplier has the potential to do exactly that.
Whole foods and Nature’s Path introduced two exclusive mueslis (breakfast cereal) to help shoppers fight poverty and empower women worldwide. When shoppers purchase Nature's Path's branded organic, Non-GMO Project-verified Heritage Mueslis in Raspberry Hazelnut or Wild Blueberry Almond Nature's Path will donate 2% of the retail price to Whole Food’s Whole Planet Foundation so that the organization can make micro loans. To date, the foundation has committed more than $34 million and disbursed more than $22 million in 54 countries, including the U.S.
"Thanks to Nature's Path for offering shoppers an opportunity to not only give back, but learn about our microfinance partners and how loans as small as $200 can help a poor entrepreneur create big change for her and her family," said Philip Sansone, president and executive director for Whole Planet Foundation.
Boxes of mueslis will feature stories of microcredit clients and partners. One example involves Thusitha, a microentrepreneur who used a microloan to support her tailoring business. Thusitha is a client of BRAC, the largest development operation in the world. Whole Planet Foundation supports BRAC's microlending programs in Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Through the foundations' support, BRAC has deepened its commitment to entrepreneurship in developing nations by providing microloans to adolescent girls. Notably, in Uganda, BRAC can now provide loans to 15,300 new adolescent borrowers over the next three years.
Also featured is microentrepreneur Luisa who used a microloans to produce artisan goods. Luisa is a client of Pro Mujer, a Whole Planet Foundation partner in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. Pro Mujer provides women with means to build livelihoods and futures for themselves and their families through small loans, savings and insurance, business training and high-quality, low-cost primary healthcare. The organization serves more than 260,000 women and their one million children and extended family members. Pro Mujer also helps clients prevent and diagnose health problems and provides immediate access to healthcare through its in-center and mobile clinics.