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Whole Planet Foundation® kicks-off campaign to alleviate poverty in developing world and in own backyard

Shoppers enter impact stories in essay contest for chance to meet loan recipients in India

AUSTIN, Texas (Feb. 22, 2012) /PRNewswire/ — Today, Whole Planet Foundation is kicking off its 2012 Prosperity Campaign at Whole Foods Market®, with the goal of raising $4.1 million to fund poverty alleviation projects across the globe and right here in the U.S.

Through Facebook®, shoppers can submit a 25 – 350 word essay on how their small actions are making a big impact for a chance to win a trip for two to India from Intrepid Travel®. On this seven-day adventure, travelers will experience the power of microcredit firsthand as they meet with loan recipients and take in India’s vibrant sights, sounds and flavors. For details and to enter, visit facebook.com/wholeplanetfoundation and select the “Whole Planet Foundation: Small Change for Big Change” tab. The deadline to enter is March 18. Winners will be announced on April 2.

This year, in addition to growing its programs in developing-world communities, Whole Planet Foundation has expanded its partnership with Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization that offers microloans to financially empower low-income entrepreneurs, by providing $850,000 in funding.

With no collateral, credit history or a contract required, microloans offer many low-income women their first chance to gain financial independence, launch their own businesses and start a new life. Prosperity from their food carts, door-to-door cosmetic sales, at-home bakeries and flower shops are helping women provide healthier meals, better housing and a solid education for themselves and their children. Watch this video to learn how: bit.ly/wpfga.

The 2012 Prosperity Campaign runs through March 31. To get involved, shoppers can enjoy one of hundreds of fundraising opportunities at Whole Foods Market locations nationwide –from wine tastings, fashion shows and silent auctions, to charity races and microbrewry events– or donate their small change for big change at store checkouts and online at wholeplanetfoundation.org.

To date, Whole Planet Foundation has committed more than $26.5 million and disbursed more than $15.5 million through microfinance partners in 50 countries, positively impacting more than a million people worldwide.

For more information on Whole Planet Foundation, fundraising ideas or for testimonials from microcredit clients, visit wholeplanetfoundation.org.

Quotes:
“Microcredit is proof that it doesn’t take millions of dollars to make a real, lasting difference in someone’s life: A loan as small as $300 can empower a poor entrepreneur to lift herself and her family out of poverty for good. Thanks to Whole Foods Market shoppers’ donations, we’re sparking new life for hundreds of thousands of poor individuals around the world. If we meet our fundraising goal, shoppers will have provided enough loans to support 180,000 more recipients and their families.”
-Philip Sansone, president and executive director of Whole Planet Foundation

“Grameen America is honored to partner with Whole Planet Foundation to help alleviate poverty. Our collaboration with Whole Planet Foundation will allow us to increase the number of microloans across the United States. Together, we will continue the fight against poverty.”
- Stephen A. Vogel, CEO of Grameen America

**Hi-resolution photos available at wholefoodsmarket.com/pressroom/photo-gallery/.


Media Contact:

Liz.Burkhart@wholefoods.com
512.542.0682

Videos

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Astou, a microcredit client of Whole Planet Foundation partner Caurie Microfinance in Senegal, used her loan to expand her restaurant business.
Astou, a microcredit client of Whole Planet Foundation partner Caurie Microfinance in Senegal, used her loan to expand her restaurant business.
Diyarbakir, a microcredit client of Whole Planet Foundation partner Turkish Grameen Microcredit Program, used her loan to expand her goat farming business in Turkey. Photo courtesy of Diane Bondareff.  
Diyarbakir, a microcredit client of Whole Planet Foundation partner Turkish Grameen Microcredit Program, used her loan to expand her goat farming business in Turkey. Photo courtesy of Diane Bondareff.  
Felicienne used her loan from One Acre Fund to support her farming business in Rwanda. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Hanson.
Felicienne used her loan from One Acre Fund to support her farming business in Rwanda. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Hanson.

Related Links

Whole Planet Foundation
Grameen America
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market Blog
Whole Planet Foundation Newsroom
Whole Planet Foundation Blog
Photos: Typical Microcredit Client Businesses
Blog: Conversations Changing the World
Blog: $4 Million to End Poverty

Related Documents

About Whole Planet Foundation
About Grameen America
8 Easy Ways to Make a Global Impact
Enter Your Small Change for Big Change Essay for a Chance to Win a Trip for Two to India

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