The photo above comes from the Walmart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton, Ohio.
The bins aren’t to collect cans for a food pantry somewhere else in the city. They are meant to collect food for Walmart associates themselves.
Here’s some context. The average Walmart sale associate makes $8.81 per hour, according to the independent market research group IBISWorld. That translates into $15,576 a year if the associate works a full-time schedule of 34 hours a week. But that’s actually pegging it quite high, as many associates have highly erratic or meager work schedules that don’t allow them anywhere close to full-time status.
For a three-person household (two parents and a child, for instance), the 2013 federal poverty level is $19,530.
When their paychecks don’t cut it, many associates turn to public assistance to make up the difference. Walmart’s low wages and insufficient scheduling are behind the enormous costs to the taxpayer incurred by each store. One Walmart Supercenter costs taxpayers $900,000 in Medicaid, SNAP, housing assistance, and other forms of public assistance.
But beyond the numbers are the associates themselves, juggling unpredictable schedules and light paychecks, who see the food bins as a sign that the company sees their struggle as the rule, not the exception.
Did I just read that the Walmart heirs are amongst the ten richest people in America?
For the story see The Daily Kos.