Why Did Whole Foods Feed the National Guard Before Baltimore's Hungry Kids?
Despite its great reputation with many liberals, the supermarket chain Whole Foods has produced a notable string of right-wing moments in recent years and another one was on display this week in Baltimore.
On Tuesday, Whole Foods Harbor East Facebook account posted a photo of the store feeding National Guard members with the caption, “We teamed up with Whole Foods Market Mt. Washington to make sandwiches for the men and women keeping Baltimore safe. We are so thankful to have them here and they’re pumped for Turkey & Cheese.”
The photo caused a stir on Twitter, with many questioning why Whole Foods was donating food to law enforcement teams while many children faced the potential of going hungry.
As a result of the riots, school had been canceled throughout the city. 84% of the 85,000 kids in the area depend on school for free or low-cost meals. Efforts to assist the children quickly sprouted up on social media and, as the backlash against the Whole Foods post grew, the company removed it from their page. Whole Foods told ABC News, "We removed the post because it did not accurately reflect all our local stores are doing to feed people across this city, especially children. Again, we love our community, and will continue to support our city in the days to come, as we always do, and extend our heartfelt sympathy to those affected."
Whole Foods has actually been directly connected to some of the issues that people have been debating over the last few days, although they might not be on the side customers think. In 2013, CEO John Mackey declared that the Affordable Health Care Act was fascism, explaining that, "In fascism, the government doesn't own the means of production, but they do control it -- and that's what's happening with our health care programs and these reforms."
The company also has a history of union-busting and some of their products are created via prison labor. According to some housing analysts, the company also has an impact on rising property values and increases in gentrification.