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Whole Planet Foundation(TM) (a Whole Foods Market Foundation) and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus Partner With Natural Foods Vendors, Pledging Over $1 Million to Help Combat Poverty
Date:3/6/2008

Allegro Coffee Company, Back to Nature, Balance Bar, The Hain Celestial Group, ITO EN, Naked Juice, New Chapter, Seventh Generation, Stacy's and Whole Foods Market(R) join forces to make a difference in developing world

communities

AUSTIN, Texas, March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Whole Planet Foundation, a Whole Foods Market nonprofit dedicated to combating poverty in developing countries through microcredit, today announced the creation of a unique coalition of natural foods companies -- Whole Planet Foundation Supplier Alliance for Microcredit. The Alliance has pledged $1.05 million over three years to help support the Foundation's microlending programs in developing world communities.

The Alliance partners -- Allegro Coffee Company, Back to Nature, Balance Bar, The Hain Celestial Group, ITO EN, Naked Juice, New Chapter, Seventh Generation, Stacy's and Whole Foods Market have together committed more than $1 million that will directly support more than 32,500 people in 6,500 families through the creation of home-based businesses. The Foundation's annual operating budget and overhead will continue to be supported 100 percent by Whole Foods Market, which also invests $1 million annually to support microlending programs.

"Businesses developed with loans from the Whole Planet Foundation Supplier Alliance for Microcredit will be as diverse as agricultural production, animal husbandry, pastry and bread making, sewing, textile and other handicraft work," explains Philip Sansone, President and Executive Director of Whole Planet Foundation. "Microlending is a tangible path to individual economic prosperity, allowing individuals a chance to lift themselves out of poverty through their own ingenuity and hard work."

The microloan system, pioneered by Dr. Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank and utilized by the Whole Planet Foundation, enables borrowers to earn an income and create economic stability through their own entre
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SOURCE Whole Planet Foundation (Whole Foods Market Foundation)
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