Hunger Games – A Walmart alert!

by | Nov 27, 2014 | Justice and Peace

WalmartHunger Games – A Walmart alert! – The Pulitizer prize-winning Guardian reports... Walmart heiress Alice Walton received a letter today, even if she hasn’t read it.“[It’s] not just Thanksgiving dinner that’s an issue. It’s dinner every night,” La’Randa Jackson wrote to Walton.

Various Walmarts have turned to community food drives to help their workers. Last year, an Ohio Walmart put out food bins to collect canned food for its workers. According to employee advocate organization OUR Walmart, a Walmart in Indiana is sponsoring a bake sale to raise money for its struggling workers. In Pennsylvania, one store has put out a giving tree for Christmas, asking workers who are better off to donate to their colleagues who are in need.

“I am working as many hours as I can get,” Davunt said. “I had $6 to buy groceries after I paid my bills [last month] – not credit card bills, just bills like electric and heat.” She added, “But even a month of ramen costs more than $6.”

Both Davunt and Jackson are featured in a recent report by Michele Simon, a public health lawyer at Eat Drink Politic. The report, named Walmart’s Hunger Games, links Walmart’s business practices to the hunger of its workers. As part of that effort, OUR Walmart has created a Tumblr with the same name, Walmart Hunger Games, featuring “true stories of hunger and food insecurity from Walmart workers.”

[See also “The Problem with Walmart’s Hunger Games”]

Last year for Thanksgiving, Jackson and her family didn’t have turkey and gravy like other families. They couldn’t afford it, because Jackson, who is now 20 years old, works at a Walmart in Cincinnati, Ohio, earning $8.75 an hour. To help her mother pay for food, Jackson collects food stamps and is a regular at her local food bank. It’s still not enough, so she says she and her mom skip their meals in order for La’Randa’s brothers to have enough.

The irony is that the retail giant prides itself on its efforts to battle hunger. In her letter to Walton, Jackson notes that it is likely that the heiress and her family, which is worth about $145bn, previously donated to the same food bank that she frequents.