(OpEdNews.com) -- In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, a sign in the employees-only area of a Walmart in Canton, Ohio urged workers to "Please donate food items here so Associates in Need can enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner." When news of this got out, there was a storm of angry comments about Walmart. Critics suggested Walmart should try paying its employees a living wage rather than asking its poorly paid workers to help feed each other.
Walmart quickly dismissed the criticism. Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, said: "This is part of the company's culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships [such as a spouse losing a job]."
He added that the food donations reflect the same spirit that led Walmart employees to create a company-wide Associates in Critical Need Trust to help co-workers in financial trouble. As Walmart's website explains, associates fund the Trust through payroll deductions or direct contributions. This shows that "associates feel as if they are part of a family."
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