Whole Foods is soliciting donations for a microcredit loan program which will benefit poor women in
"developing countries." (That the program was to benefit poor women is what the cashier told me, though it is not explicitly stated at this link.) What about helping people in the community where the store is located, if WF is going to take the step of subtly pressuring us into channeling our extra funds towards "charity"? (A defender might say the company is just asking its customers to donate, it's not applying [social] pressure or threatening the use of violence.)
Other supermarkets will donate to "worthy causes" - breast cancer research and so on. I am guessing that this is a program run and administered by the company, directly or indirectly. When supermarket chains participate in charity, how much of the donated funds are designated for the "expenses" of collection?
How about setting up a fund promoting the creation of local businesses that would employ those who cannot find suitable work? As this would probably include businesses dealing with food production, artisan-made food, and the like, I suppose Whole Foods would have a reason not to make competitors that could put it out of business. So this is how far "corporate" charity extends - helping people on the other side of the world while ignoring the people here.