An Ohio Walmart decided to host a Thanksgiving food drive, but not for the local shelter or soup kitchen. Instead, the food donated will help Walmart associates in need afford Thanskgiving dinner.
The Plain Dealer reports that a Cleveland Walmart has put out bins asking for donations of Thanksgiving food for workers. "Please Donate Food Items Here, So Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner," a sign says.
It seems the tables are meant specifically for employees to donate for other employees, and is hidden in an employees-only area. Still, the photos of the bins have caused outrage, especially as workers in Walmart workers in Cincinnati and Dayton were set to strike today.
Walmart's side of the story is that it's proof that employees care for each other. "It is for associates who have had some hardships come up," a representative said. "Maybe their spouse lost a job. This is part of the company's culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships."
Organizations like Stand Up for Ohio and OUR Walmart are outraged, however, saying that the company shouldn't ask low-wage workers to donate to other low-wage workers. But some associates have come forward to note the food drive has helped them in the past. Plain Dealer reports, "Food drives have been going on at the store for a few years, so [one associate] questions why they are becoming an issue now. [Erica Reed] said past food drives helped her cope with her own problems, not caused by low wages but because of losing $500 a month in child support when the father of her four children went to jail."