Wake Up Call

Wal-Mart Supports Food Stamps and Anti Hunger Initiatives in the Worst Possible Way

Leave it to Wal-Mart to find a way to make charitable giving and supporting necessary welfare assistance look absolutely disgusting. If you still need proof that being a Wal-Mart shopper and supporting their antics is bad business, the company released a statement enumerating the reasons they're supporting an increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits, and it isn't pretty. Much like JP Morgan profiting nearly $5.5 million off of producing EBT cards in 2010, food stamps help Wal-Mart's bottom line, and that's not all.

See Also: Survey: 21 Percent of Arizonans Struggle to Afford Food

According to Huffington Post, Wal-Mart is supporting a measure to erase the cuts Congress made to food stamp benefits last fall. The company explained their reasons for doing so as, "Our business operations are subject to numerous risks, factors and uncertainties, domestically... These factors include... changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans." Yuck.

Following Marketplace and Slate's "The Secret Life of a Food Stamp," you'll find out that even the company's charitable food donations are sullied in bad business practices. While the company "collects billions of pounds of vegetables, dry goods, and other items" to donate, a worker at one of the food assistance centers in Ohio said that he sees many Wal-Mart workers in there shopping the shelves because they can't afford to shop at the store that they work at. Double yuck.

As David Tovar, Walmart's VP of communications, explained to Marketplace, "Walmart is the largest employer in Ohio, and the country, so its work force is bound to reflect the country's current economic realities, including growing rates of food stamp use."

Good one.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch