NOBULL: Wal-Mart Food Drive! — Driving people deeper into poverty…


How high up in the Wal-Mart chain of command is spokesperson, Kory Lundberg and what is his salary? Poor Wal-Mart is not happy that a story about the Canton, Ohio store is making such a splash. Just because they have stacks of tubs at their store, in the employee area, asking for food donations to help fellow associates, in need, have a Thanksgiving dinner, is being spun in a way that might make the Waltons look bad.

"Quite frankly, a lot of people in that store are frustrated and offended that this is reported in a way besides other folks rallying around each other," Lundberg said.

Wrong, Mr. Lundberg, I don’t think anyone I know is denigrating any associates’ at this store or any other store for helping each other out. We are wondering why the people at the bottom of the Wal-Mart chain are having to help out so much.

"Last year, he said there were about 12 people who benefited from the program."

How much did Wal-Mart make in 2012? I think it is about $447 billion. In March of 2012 the six Waltons had a combined worth of $102 billion and the average income of a full time Wal-Mart associate is $25,000.

"I couldn’t be prouder of people in that store helping in a tough situation," he said.

Well, I couldn’t be prouder, too, but with an income of $25,000 a year, it doesn’t take much of a calamity to put a family in a desperate situation. Nearly the entire workforce qualifies for food stamps and then the store would like for those with food stamps to supplement those with food stamps because a minor car repair could devastate the entire family budget.

"They set the tub up for associates and managers to donate items for associates for things beyond their control," Lundberg said. "It shows these associates care for each other. This isn’t every day run of the mill stuff — maybe a spouse has lost a job or lost a loved one, or maybe a natural disaster has hit."

Everything is beyond their control, especially their pay scale and benefits. I agree it shows the associates care for each other because the Wal-Mart family and their corporation could not possibly care less. I guarantee you that when I worked a few months at Wal-Mart, from about Halloween to Easter, even run of the mill, everyday stuff could put a lot of employees into financial ruin. Most of the people who worked with me were working at Wal-Mart because the main family bread-winner did not get health care at his or her job. Most of their pay went to the Wal-Mart health plan which sucked. I was fortunate because my husband worked where their was a union and I had health care.

"Lundberg said Wal-Mart has a company-wide program called The Associates in Critical Need Trust that is a non-profit 501(c)(3) to provide financial assistance to associates who are experiencing hardship. Associates can donate to the trust, either through a payroll deduction or voluntary, direct contributions. Since its inception, more than 50,000 associates have sought help through the trust for themselves and their families this way," Wal-Mart says on its website.

Again it is the associates donating from a non-living wage to help other associates.

"They’re not the same program but symbolize the same thing: the importance of the company taking care of its people," Lundberg said.

It is not the company taking care of it’s people, it is it’s people taking care of each other because the company doesn’t give a crap.

"There’s one lady in the store I talked to last week and she was helped out by this program last year," Lundberg said. "The situation came because she stopped receiving child support payments. Nobody plans for that. This store rallied around it."

I can see that. If you work at Wal-Mart, not getting child support would be a problem. In this economy and since Wal-Mart and most other retail outlets pay minimum wage with barely any benefits or health care you really need to plan for the possible loss of any kind

of support system, but how do you do that with a non-living wage?

"THIS STORE RALLIED AROUND IT." The store, not the Wal-Mart Corporation, rallied. No one is denigrating the associates at Wal-Mart, not now, not ever. The associates need their jobs and the Waltons know it and therefore do whatever they feel like to them because they know they can. The people who actually make all their stuff make even worse wages.

Karen Webb, Moore, Ok.

PS: By the way, next time you are in a Wal-Mart and see a huge sign that says; "Buy American" or "Made in the USA". Spend a few minutes and see how long it takes you to find one item actually made in the USA. I spent an hour once and have no idea how many items I checked before I found a flag pole that was Made In The USA, but all of the Old Glories were made in South America.