In response to a last-ditch by a small group of community activists in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, Whole Foods’ Northeast Region issued this statement to us this morning:
Whole Foods Market has a long history as responsible community partners, not only through our deeply rooted involvement with local programs and committees, but also through our extensive give-back programs. We are committed to having a dedicated community market liaison at each store location whose job is to work with local community groups and non-profit organizations. Since January, 2011, Whole Foods Market has donated or promised more than $36,000 in monetary and food donations to JP community groups, schools and non-profit organizations, and this is just the beginning of our efforts as we are open to supporting any 501c3 that supports the causes that are important to Jamaica Plain’s residents. The JPNC recently requested that Whole Foods Market create a fund for use by JP community groups, which is a request that has never been made to any other retailer joining JP. Creating a fund for a specific community is not how we do business, nor have we ever found it necessary given our history of community involvement. Our outlook at this time has not changed, and we are now focusing 100% of our energy on opening our new store in Jamaica Plain.