Sign Of The Times - Wal-Mart Launches Employee Food Drive

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

You may find what is happening at one Wal-Mart in Ohio very hard to believe.  At the Wal-mart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton, Ohio employees are being asked to donate food items so that other employees that cannot afford to buy Thanksgiving dinner will be able to enjoy one too.  You can see a photo of the donation bins that has been posted on Twitter right here.  On the one hand, it is commendable that someone at that Wal-Mart is deeply concerned about the employees that are so poor that they cannot afford to buy the food that they need for Thanksgiving.  On the other hand, this is a perfect example that shows how the quality of the jobs in this country has gone down the toilet. 

Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the United States and it had operating income of 26.5 billion dollars last year.  Wal-Mart is not required to pay their employees a decent wage, and it is very unlikely that anyone will force them to.  But they should.  Because Wal-Mart does not pay decent wages to their employees, the rest of us end up with the bill.  As you will see below, huge numbers of Wal-Mart employees end up on Medicaid and other government assistance programs.  Meanwhile, those that control Wal-Mart continue to enjoy absolutely massive profits.

The following is a short excerpt from a local news story about the donation bins that have been set out at the Wal-Mart in Canton, Ohio.  As the story notes, this does not appear to be a nationwide program, and the donation bins are only available in an employee-only area...

The storage containers are attractively displayed at the Walmart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton. The bins are lined up in alternating colors of purple and orange. Some sit on tables covered with golden yellow tablecloths. Others peer out from under the tables.


This isn't a merchandise display. It's a food drive - not for the community, but for needy workers.


"Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner," read signs affixed to the tablecloths.

It just seems really crazy that the largest employer in the country pays so little that some of their employees cannot even afford to eat Thanksgiving dinner.

Is this what the future of America is going to look like?

According to official Wal-Mart numbers, more than half of their hourly workers make less than $25,000 a year.

That breaks down to about $2,000 a month before taxes.

Could you survive on that?

Could you afford to support a family on that?

It turns out that a lot of Wal-Mart employees simply cannot get by without financial help from the government, and the numbers are staggering.  A recent Businessweek article discussed one study that found that 300 employees at just one Wal-Mart in Wisconsin actually receive a combined total of nearly a million dollars a year in public assistance...

“A decent wage is their demand—a livable wage, of all things,” said Representative George Miller (D-Calif.). The problem with companies like Wal-Mart is their “unwillingness, not their inability, to pay that wage,” he said. “They hand off the difference to taxpayers.” Miller was referring to a congressional report (PDF) released in May that calculated how much Walmart workers rely on public assistance. The study found that the 300 employees at one Supercenter in Wisconsin required some $900,000 worth of public assistance a year.

And according to Politifact, in many states Wal-Mart employees represent the largest single group of people enrolled in the Medicaid program...

In Florida, Wal-Mart topped all companies operating in Florida with the largest number of employees and family members (12,300) eligible for Medicaid, according to a 2005 Tampa Bay Times story. Wal-Mart also ranked highly (No. 2) for dependents enrolled in Florida Healthy Kids or KidCare, trailing Miami-Dade County employees.


In Missouri, where Wal-Mart is the largest employer behind state government, the state’s social services department determined Walmart employees outnumbered all others with employees and family members enrolled in MO HealthNet, the state’s Medicaid plan, in the first quarter of 2011. However, at almost 14 percent, it did not represent the highest percentage of workers enrolled or responsible for an enrollee (Dollar General, for instance, was much higher at 42 percent).


And in Pennsylvania, a 2006 Philadelphia Inquirer investigation revealed the company had the highest percentage of employees enrolled in Medicaid. One in six of Walmart’s 48,000 Pennsylvania employees were enrolled in Medicaid, costing the state about $15 million a year (it’s likely higher because the Inquirer’s story did not cover employees’ dependents on Medicaid, or any other public assistance such as food stamps).

This is a disgrace.

Your taxes and my taxes are going to subsidize Wal-Mart.

The government has to take more money from all the rest of us because Wal-Mart will not pay their workers a decent wage.  Because Wal-Mart will not support them, we end up supporting them.

Meanwhile, the six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have as much wealth as the bottom one-third of all Americans combined.

So why do people still work there?

Well, because there is a huge shortage of jobs in this country.  As I noted yesterday, the total number of working age Americans without a job has increased by 27 million since the year 2000.

Right now we have a growing unemployment crisis in this country that is being seriously downplayed by the mainstream media.

According to John Williams of, if long-term discouraged workers were still included in the official government employment figures like they were back in 1994, then the broadest measure of unemployment would now be approaching 25 percent.  In fact, according to his charts unemployment in the U.S. is now worse than it was at any point during the last recession.

And even the New York Times is admitting that long-term unemployment in America is up by 213 percent since 2007.

At this point, there are millions upon millions of desperate Americans that will take just about any job that they can get.

Meanwhile, the quality of the jobs in this country continues to go downhill very rapidly.

For example, did you know that about 40 percent of all U.S. workers actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968?

And did you know that 65 percent of all American workers make less than $40,000 a year before taxes?

For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled "15 Signs That The Quality Of Jobs In America Is Going Downhill Really Fast".

At the same time, the good paying high tech jobs that our politicians have been promising us continue to disappear.  For instance, 19,507 biopharma jobs were eliminated between January 1, 2013 and October 31, 2013.  That is a 68 percent increase over the pace of biopharma job losses during the same period last year.

So are there any areas of the country that are actually doing well right now?

Well, yes there is.  In fact, the Washington D.C. region has added more "1 percent households" over the past decade than anyone else has...

The winners in the new Washington are not just the former senators, party consiglieri and four-star generals who have always profited from their connections. Now they are also the former bureaucrats, accountants and staff officers for whom unimagined riches are suddenly possible. They are the entrepreneurs attracted to the capital by its aura of prosperity and its super-educated workforce. They are the lawyers, lobbyists and executives who work for companies that barely had a presence in Washington before the boom.


During the past decade, the region added 21,000 households in the nation's top 1 percent. No other metro area came close.

I used to live in the D.C. area, and I can tell you that the folks out there are living the high life at your expense.

In one recent article, I noted that the average federal employee living in the Washington D.C. area received total compensation worth more than $126,000 in one recent year.

Of course you and I are paying the bill for this too.  The U.S. national debt is on pace to more than double during the eight years of the Obama administration, and our politicians seem to have no trouble continuing to steal about 100 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day.

Meanwhile, thousands of other communities all over the nation are slowly being transformed into rotting, festering hellholes.  The following is an excerpt from a recent CNBC article that discussed what is happening to Trenton, New Jersey...

When a city is badly broken, it can be very tough to fix.


Just ask Darren Green, president of a coalition of community groups in Trenton, N.J., where deep budget cuts in 2011 forced the city to lay off a third of its police force.


"We're at a place now where it's very dangerous to walk the streets," he said, his thoughts periodically interrupted by the distant sound of passing sirens. "The school system is dysfunctional and not working. You have young people who are robbing elders. Young people who are destroying communities. With no leadership and the community in disarray, there's a lot of bad here."

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Zero Debt's picture

Bullish for another 200 points on the S&P

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Watch this shit spread.

Just the beginning.

outamyeffinway's picture

What a country. You can work but not afford to live. Should end well enough.

viahj's picture

what the fuck does any one who isn't the 0.1% have to be thankful about this year (or last or next, etc.)?  eat your peas.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Like this is Walmart's fault. Or Target's. Or any other retailer's
I blame shitty governance, which is the fault of a stupid, soft citizenry. They vote wrong, and they are too scared to bust out the pitchforks. Come on you losers - *fight*. Vote them out, or chase their sorry asses out.

MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

WallyWorld is advertising a 32" fat screen TV for $98.

If the WallyWorld employees feel they are underpaid, they can quit and look for a better job, or take out a school loan and study for a better education.

Carry on...

PT's picture

Yeah, and if houses are overpriced it is because you're not working hard enough / smart enough / innovating enough ...

smlbizman's picture

the subsidized worker is simpy a conduit to transfer tax payer money to the corporate coffers...

Peter Pan's picture

Why isn't Walmart called Slavemart?

Four chan's picture

because sam slaveton changed his family name years ago.

IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

Yes it is Wal-Mart's fault as much as the government's.  They could CHOOSE to operate under an ethical business model but they do not.  Instead, the revel in all the excesses of crony corporatist fascism, not just bilking taxpayers in order to continue to pay shitty wages, but profiting further when same underpaid employees use their SNAP cards at their stores.  Yes we can *fight* and one of the best ways to start is not spending a single penny at Wal-Mart (although pitchforks wouldn't hurt either).  Stop blaming only one side of mutually corrupt system (.gov) and start punishing the corporate crooks as well.

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Saddest story of the year! Those fucking Walton heirs have $150 billion and the people who made them rich can't afford Thanksgiving dinner. I'm ashamed to be an American today.

Headbanger's picture

Many years ago, several employers I worked for gave out huge frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving to all employees.

I know WalMart has perhaps the most employees but it can do better than this for them!  At least offer them a discount on turkeys!

ebworthen's picture

Yup, that's what I remember, the company giving out the turkey - not guilting employees into doing it.

corporatewhore's picture

this is the same company that allowed the Free Shit Army to maximize (beyond their limits) the EBT cards and decided not to try and claw back the amounts which we all paid for.

I hate Walmart.  Yet it is fascinating to go into one and see what America has become.  Fat, piggish disgusting slobs loading up high fructose corn syrup junk food, cheap crap from china and other shit.  It is like visiting a third world nation full of prototype diabetics or future wannabes.


Whore        Reading your post made me ask the question ,what kind of store works that hard at killing off it's customer base ? Somewhere there are ruling elites with a "one dollar" bet that they can kill off some useless eaters and their offspring and still make a shitload of money. Two birds with one stone kind of thing.  

midtowng's picture

The reason I clicked this article's link is to see just how many "Fuck 'em. It's the fault of socalism" comments I would see here.

giggler321's picture

Please sir can I have some more?

1223pm's picture

Hard work, loyalty and honesty will not make you rich anymore. So sad.

ajax's picture



"Hard work, loyalty and honesty will not make you rich anymore. So sad."

Ha!! It never did! That was Roman Empire propaganda mate: "The Roman Dream". SPQR.


NihilistZero's picture

Hard work, loyalty and honesty will not make you rich anymore...

Did it ever, really?

starfcker's picture

you guys must be under 35. yes it really did.

NihilistZero's picture

Successful and happy yes.  But rich?  The truly wealthy (TPTB) have never embodied these virtues IMO.

PT's picture

Maybe they're under 45.

Hard work, honesty, loyalty, enthusiasm ... those qualities are a dime per dozen.  I've seen factories full of them.  If you want success, something else is also needed. 

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Bullish for store profits and Mgr bonuses at year end.

thunderchief's picture

It's not like these food drives even consist of descent food these days. 


Ingredients: SALT (the non iodized cheap shit), SUGER (once again the the cheap shit, high frutose corn surope, you aint getting pure cane suger growin in the sun) SATURATED FAT (GMO grain fed animal factories, think walmart pork) CHEMICALS (its whats for dinner, asshole!)


Skateboarder's picture

Give thanks to the soylent goop and cornlent glarp that feeds ya, boy!

666's picture

What? No Trans fat? How cheap can they be?

prains's picture

When a city is badly broken, it can be very tough to fix.


coming to your entire country one city at a's unfixable at this point, directionless, argumentative, divided, ideologically divorced from one's absolutely hopeless at this point, the Oligarchs have built such a layered defence, politically, socially, economically, militarally. It's like watching 12 year old girls trying to play football against the NY Giants.


you guys are the epitome of trying to "herd cats"


Jumbotron's picture






ajax's picture



+ 1000 to Jumbotron


"Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner," read signs affixed to the tablecloths.

The food drive tables are tucked away in an employees-only area. They are another element in the backdrop of the public debate about salaries for cashiers, stock clerks and other low-wage positions at Walmart, as workers in Cincinnati and Dayton are scheduled to go on strike Monday."

Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, said the food drive is proof that employees care about each other.

"It is for associates who have had some hardships come up," he 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," he said.


Things that go bump's picture

"To Mr. Scrooge - The founder of the feast." Bob Cratchit. 

Quinvarius's picture

At least in the last depression you could eat if you had a job.

bigdumbnugly's picture

yeah.  depressions sure ain't what they used to be.

Quinvarius's picture

Maybe this depression is greater than the last one?

ThirdWorldDude's picture

Unfortunately, you ain't seen nothing yet...

bigdumbnugly's picture

it may be more depressing.

'the more depressing depression.'    there, we coined it.


just need to bring back b&w film and start taking pics.



Dr. Engali's picture

What's so great about a depression?

depression's picture

hey don't blame me, i'm just a symptom

ajax's picture



"What's so great about a depression?"  Weight loss in the US would be one answer, problem is the poorer one becomes the more empty calories one eats. Poor people become horribly obese eating cheap industrial food. There's your "American paradox" as opposed to the dietary "French paradox".

Skateboarder's picture

You can be sure the media will use a gayass word like 'deepression.'

max2205's picture

See you don't have to be homeless or poor to join the Free Shit Army.


I know a lot of people who would love to make 2 k a month...this is tears from me

PT's picture

max2205:  "See how generous I am?  I convinced Fred to give Mary a turkey.  I'm so wonderful!"

With an attitude like that, it's easy to see how the Waltons succeeded in business, but tell me again, who has the entitlement mentality? 

Lordflin's picture

In a free market system there are winners and losers...

Oh, wait... we don't have a free market system... Well, nevermind then...