Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Fight Over Food Deserts – Corporate America Weighs In

The Fight Over Food Deserts – Corporate America Weighs In | Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy:

Some 38.2% of households seeking food aid are home to at least one working adult. As the nation’s largest employer, it would seem obvious that the first step Wal-Mart would take to end hunger is ensure that the jobs it provides don’t leave its employees needing food aid. In 2008 alone, Wal-Mart settled 63 cases of wage theft.The settlement totalled $352 million in unpaid wages and involved hundreds of thousands of current and former Wal-Mart employees across the country.iv]

Even when the company does pay the agreed upon wage, workers still come up short. According to Good Jobs First, taxpayers subsidize Wal-Mart stores through numerous forms of public assistance--Medicaid, Food Stamps, public housing--that often allow workers to subsist on the company’s low wages. A report by the House Education and Workforce Committee conservatively places these costs deferred by the retail giant at $420,750 per store; the Wal-Mart Foundation's per-store charitable giving is just 11 percent of that amount ($47,222).[v]

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