Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Don't Be Fooled by Walmart's Token Giving

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You have to admit there is more than a little irony in the announcement that the Walmart Foundation has contributed $30,000 to NeighborImpact's Food Recovery Program.

NeighborImpact, as the executive director notes, serves economically disadvantaged people in Central Oregon. Walmart pays lousy wages andprovides crappy benefits, helping to create economically disadvantaged people in Central Oregon.

Six members of the Walton family, the folks who control the company and the foundation, are wealthier than the bottom 30 percent of all American families. Since 2007 - while working-class Americans and many Walmart employeesexperienced a loss in income, savings, health care,jobs and homes - these six Walton relatives increased their combined wealth by45 percent, from $63.7 billion to $93 billion.

This tax-deductible $30,000 grant generates phony PR for a cheapskate company that opposes minimum wage laws,spends untold sums of money to fight unions, discriminates against women workers, uses contractors who systematically abuse workers in foreign countries, and delivers huge campaign contributions to politicians who vote to gut anti-poverty programs like NeighborImpact at every opportunity. If Walmart really cared for the poor and the hungry, they could start by spending more money to directlyhelp the people who labor in their stores and for their overseas contractors.

The Walton Gangusesits wealthto create more poverty to the point where many of Walmart employees will need the food bank services at NeighborImpact.Buying a little good will at NeighborImpact at the expense of the people NeighborImpact servesis nothing to celebrate.

-Michael Funke, Bend

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