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Whole Foods Market(R) Donates $25,000, for Midwest Farmers - Hoping to Match an Additional $10,000, via Customer Donations
Date:9/12/2007

Midwest Region Working with Sow the Seeds Fund and Sustain to Raise

Donations after Floods

CHICAGO, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Violent storms in late August have led to the decimation of a number of organic and family farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Whole Foods Market Midwest has joined a remarkable collaboration of farmers, nonprofits, restaurants and natural food cooperatives to implement a multifaceted, region-wide effort to assist these farmers, some of whom have lost use of several fields due to soil contamination and topsoil runoff. Specifically, 26 Whole Foods Market Midwest stores, located in MN, IL, NE, MO, WI and MI, are accepting donations from customers. In addition, the Company's Midwest region is donating $25,000, and matching up to an additional $10,000 in customer donations.

"This flooding is a tragedy, not only for these farms, but for the country as a whole, since a large portion of organic production comes from these areas," states Bobby Turner, Midwest regional vice president of purchasing for Whole Foods Market. "We vow to do our best to help these farmers as much as possible."

Working with the Sow the Seeds Fund and Sustain, the Company is accepting customer donations in $2, $5 and $10 increments. Similar to Whole Foods Market's Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, the donation is added to the customer's bill, enabling customers to pay with credit and debit cards to encourage participation.

Due to USDA regulations and food safety concerns, the Company placed a temporary moratorium on products from all flooded farms. However, in a matter of days, the Company was able to visit each affected farm and determine what of each farm's products are safe to sell. This quick action enabled all of the farms to continue selling at least a portion of their products, helping them carry on their business as they continue to assess flood damage and initiate cleanup efforts.

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SOURCE Whole Foods Market
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