Holding a food drive is an important year-round endeavor and especially during the holiday season. But when the world’s largest retailer holds a drive for customers to donate food to the store’s employees that fell on hard times, the compassion of the action is called into question. Why isn’t the billion-dollar grocery store chain doing their part to help those with a temporary need that work for them?
A Wal-Mart store in Oklahoma has organized a drive where cardboard bins placed at the front of the store with signs attached that read: “Let’s succeed by donating to employees in need!!! Thanks for your support!” Another sign reads: “3430 canned food drive!” The number “3430” refers to the supercenter store on Northeast 23rd Street in Oklahoma City. An employee of the store, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, provided photos to Business Insider as proof of effort.
Although the philanthropic idea is commendable, there is no mention of the retail giant matching the donations from the customers, or any contribution at all on their part, other than to put the bin out there. After all, they are a grocery store in large part, packed with food that could be easily donated to those that labor for them if they recognize there is a hunger issue.
Hard workers are not absolved from falling on hard times. They show up to work, earn an honest living, and sometimes ends aren’t met due to unfortunate or unforeseen circumstances. But when they work for the world’s largest company by revenue, who at some locations recognizes their employees have a hunger need, it seems like an odd approach to ask the customers that feed the company profits to feed their employees also.
Last year, a Wal-Mart store in Cleveland faced widespread backlash after it was reported that the retailer was holding a similar drive to help employees pay for Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, critics were quick to jump on the raise the wage bandwagon and made it an issue of pay. However, Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg told Business Insider that the food drives have been going on for several years to help associates “that have faced an extreme hardship recently.”
For the company’s part, the average hourly wage for Wal-Mart’s full and part-time employees is $11.83, according to the retail giant. In certain markets, employees make around $9/hour, which is still fair considering the minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25/hour. The rates are all relative to location as the cost of living greatly varies from one region to another.
It’s not so much an issue of Wal-Mart’s wages, anyone can find themselves in unexpected financially difficult times that cannot be supported by their income. It just seems like an odd choice for Wal-Mart to pass the buck to customers to help their own employees out, instead of taking care of their own.
-Courtesy of Mad World News