Wal-Mart store’s food drive for its own workers

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(Image Credit: OUR Walmart via CNN Money)

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – One Wal-Mart store in Ohio is collecting canned food to help its workers feed their families a Thanksgiving dinner.

“Please donate food items here so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner,” a sign above two bins located near the store’s backroom reads, according to photos circulated by the union-backed group OUR Walmart. The group has been organizing Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500)worker protests since last year.

Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg said that particular store has held similar food donation drives for several years. The food supports workers who are facing “an unforeseen hardship,” such as a spouse losing a job. Some of the food collected last year went to a mother whose child support benefits had stopped, so it helped provide her children a holiday meal, he said.

“I spoke to workers at the store today and they said that they’re going to continue to look after their folks who have realized a hardship recently,” Lundberg said.

He wasn’t aware of similar drives at any of its 4,000-plus stores nationwide, but he said he wouldn’t be surprised if they were.

The food drive plays into claims that Wal-Mart does not pay its workers a living wage.

In September, Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart U.S., said that less than half of the company’s U.S. employees make more than $25,000 per year. The federal poverty level for a family of four is $23, 500.

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