We have been so blessed to find friends in Whole Foods Market!! The company is committed to community and their desire to make Northwest Arkansas a better place is so evident!!
Whole Foods Market donates their food waste to The Salvation Army several times a week, providing our shelter with healthy necessities! Over the summer months alone, their dairy and coffee donations have saved us over $1200! We’ve also been able to provide top-of-the-line snacks like nuts and protein bars at no cost to us, items that would otherwise not be available to our guests due to cost. Whole Foods Market is providing healthy, high quality food options to a community that would otherwise not have access.
I caught up with the champions of our partnership, Allison Chilcote (Marketing Team Leader) and Chamisa Wheeler (Team Member), to chat about saving food waste, being a conscientious shopper, and making a difference for the impoverished in our community. Read on, friends!
The Heart of Whole Foods Market
“Community is extremely important to Whole Foods Market. It is the foundation of the company and important to its team members who work toward increasing access to fresh, healthy food!
In 1980, Whole Foods Market started out as one small store in Austin, Texas with a variety of local and regional products on the shelves. Less than a year later, a massive flood destroyed the store inventory and damaged equipment. Community vendors, creditors and partners joined forces to help get Whole Foods Market operational again. It was the pivotal point when Whole Foods Market recognized it takes a team and a community and the company’s core values were developed and transformed. You can see that in the way Whole Foods Market approaches business today as a company and community partner.” (See their core values –> here!)
Importance of Rescuing Food (before it becomes waste)
“The needs in our community are always growing. We can make change, impact people and inspire them to reach others by teaching them to think about their food and be more conscious about what they buy, creating a trickle effect. It is our job in the community to work together to scale back food waste, help more where we can, and be more conscientious consumers.”
What are some ways that individuals and families can recover food and be cautious of food waste in their own homes?
“Know your resources. What is my Plan B for food? Change your mindset to think of where food can go if you cannot eat or cook it.
Whether it be taking your food scraps to a compost, reaching out to a local shelter or food bank, going to your church or non-profit recipient, or thinking of your neighbor who may not have dinner, and inviting them over!
These actions give you the freedom to cook something delicious and healthy and not have the guilt of potentially wasting it.”
The Heart of the Whole Foods Team
(Chamisa) “When I realized we work with food banks, I got really excited. I understand the depth of the problems that we face in Northwest Arkansas. Now, I go home at night and I think about families who have a little more tonight than what they started off with.”
I go home with a less heavy heart knowing that this company is giving back so much. Whole Foods gave me that opportunity. I love that Whole Foods embraces community and has so much compassion, and that we are making a difference.
Catch up with Whole Foods Fayetteville: