|Photo credit: Our Walmart|
A Walmart store in Canton Ohio is organizing a behind-the-scenes Thanksgiving food drive for its employees. In the workers' area there are several large plastic storage bins, as pictured, with a sign that reads, "Please donate food items here so Associates in Need can enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner." The drive has been held for the past few years, according to Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg. Last year's drive benefited 12 people, who were nominated by their co-workers to receive the food.
I think this is a great idea, and it does truly show that there are people out there who care for one another. On the other hand, it really does play up the fact that the vast majority of Walmart employees work only part-time, for minimum wage. Who can afford to live on that kind of salary?
Lundberg seemed offended by the fact that the food drive is being reported by the media in a way that casts aspersions on Walmart, but the fact remains that Walmart is notorious for its low wages, lack of benefits, and refusal to allow workers to unionize. Meanwhile, the company earned $15.7 billion in profits last year, alone.
If Walmart were to pay its employees better and give them basic benefits, particularly an employee health benefit package, maybe they would be able to meet "unexpected life events" a bit more readily, and they wouldn't need a food drive so they could afford to have Thanksgiving dinner. :-/