Opponents of Whole Foods Ask For Boycott of JP Store
Whose Foods, an anti-gentrification group, is calling for a boycott of the JP Whole Foods Market until the grocer signs a Community Benefits Agreement.
The grocer has repeatedly stated that it will use its usual community giving programs instead of crafting a specific agreement for JP. Those programs include "5 Percent Days" like the one this month that benefited JP's Community Servings. Before opening the new store in Hyde Square, the company had given $40,000 to various JP causes, according to the store's marketing coordinator.
The call for the boycott is tied to Thanksgiving, the lead-up to which is traditionally a time of high sales volume at grocery stores. The Whose Foods? anti-gentrification group wants the store to enter a formal agreement to do these five things:
1) fund affordable housing efforts
2) fund local youth programs
3) fund local small business assistance
4) provide a living wage for all of the JP store's employees
5) publish a traffic impact study
Persons opposed to Whole Foods argue that the upscale grocer exacerbates the negative effects of gentrification in JP. For instance, they say rising property values lead to lower-income persons being forced out of the neighborhood via higher rents.
Whole Foods' arrival in JP has been broadly welcomed. A protest on the store's opening day drew about 20 people.
[Editor's note: Thanks to a reader, a typo and a sentence about grocery stores and Thanksgiving were fixed.]